Tuesday, June 30, 2015

PODCAST: Fort Thomas Proposed Budget (2015-2016)

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Last week we began our Budget Transparency Series where we began peeling back the budget, line by line. We examined the amended budget for 2014-2015. 

The amended budget for fiscal year July 1 2014 - June 30 2015 was voted on at the last council meeting and passed unanimously. Each June, the finance committee meets with city staff and after getting requests from each department and committee, will allocate funds for the next fiscal year. This year's finance committee is comprised of John Muller, Lisa Kelly and Roger Peterman.

The following June when a new budget is being drawn, the previous year's budget is amended to reflect the actual revenues, expenditures and surpluses available.

There was a point of contention among council regarding the proposed budget in an exchange between Councilman Adam Meier and Roger Peterman that may lead to a battle on what the city does with property taxes in September.


Meier suggested council consider one slight change to the proposed budget.  Rather than passing a budget that is revenue positive with a $76,460 surplus, Meier suggested passing one that is revenue neutral.

He stated that he understood the purpose for running a surplus but felt that through prudent budgets and management in the past, the City is now in a position to pass a revenue neutral budget and use current reserves for any large unanticipated expenditures that may arise.

He also stated that passing the lower budget would allow a lower revenue baseline to determine the tax rate when the council comes to that discussion in a few months.

Peterman pointed out that the two are not entirely dependent on each other and can be treated separately. Meier agreed and pointed out that half of this budget will be based on next year's tax rate, and the budget under consideration assumed a 4% increase and a revenue neutral budget would not require the full 4% property tax increase to meet that revenue target.

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