City Manager Jim Nuse has presented a preliminary $158.2 million balanced budget for the 2013 fiscal year to the San Marcos City Council with no increase in property taxes.
His proposal includes no electric rate increase but the second year of a two year rate increase ordinance for water/ wastewater utility rates, which was approved during last year’s annual budget process.
A second budget workshop is scheduled for Thursday, July 26. The meeting is open to the public and will be televised and video streamed online at www.sanmarcostx.gov/videos.
The proposed budget will be submitted to the City Clerk on July 31 and will be available on the city’s website for review.
“The city of San Marcos is striving to achieve best practices in the 2013 budget,” Nuse said. “This is a conservative budget proposal that holds the line on expenditures and property taxes, reduces transfers from the utility funds to the general fund, and follows the city council’s budget policies.”
Highlights of the 2013 preliminary budget include:
- A total $158.2 million in expenditures. No increase in the property tax rate of $0.5302/ $100 of value.
- No increase in electric rates and the creation of a rate stabilization fund. Reduction of the Electric Utility franchise fee from 8.5 percent to 8 percent. This is the second year of a four-year planned reduction from 8.5 percent to 7 percent.
- Second year of a two-year rate ordinance which increases water rates by 3 percent and wastewater rates by 2.5 percent. Creation of a water/wastewater rate stabilization fund.
- Reduction of the Water/wastewater Utility franchise fee from 8.5 percent to 7 percent. This is the second year of a four-year planned reduction from 8.5 percent to 7 percent, meeting the goal two years early.
- Funding for Non-Civil Service employee compensation adjustments and an estimate for new Civil Service Meet and Confer obligations
- Second year of a six-year plan to move CIP staff funding from debt to the General Fund.
- Maintaining an ending General Fund ending balance of at least 30 percent, to boost the City’s savings account target goal.
- Preliminary property values in San Marcos are up by 6 percent, which increases in the values of property to $2.86 billion.
- Sales tax revenues are projected to be up by 6 percent for FY 2012 and budgeted at a 2 percent increase for 2013.
The preliminary budget was presented to City Council following the Budget Policy being set in March. In addition to the expenditures included in the budget policy, the following additions to the General Fund were recommended:
- Inclusion of an additional $510,000 in recurring expenses to fund needed programs and personnel including additional personnel in public safety, parks maintenance, library and development services, additional funding for street maintenance, and an enhanced vaccine and adoption program in Animal Services.
- Inclusion of an additional $1,290,000 in one-time expenses to fund capital outlay, capital maintenance, and other needed one-time projects including implementation of the comprehensive plan.
The City of San Marcos operates three major funds in its annual budget, plus several special funds:
- General Fund, which pays for Police, Fire, Community Services (parks, library, environmental health); Public Services (transportation, streets, solid waste), Planning and Development, Capital Improvements, and Administration. Revenue comes from sales taxes (45 percent), property taxes (16 percent), fees, fines and transfers.
- The Electric Fund, which operates the community-owned retail power distribution system with revenue generated by electric rates.
- The Water/ Wastewater Fund, which supplies superior ground and surface water and treats the community wastewater. Revenues come from monthly water and wastewater service to the community.
- Special funds including Airport, Women, Infants and Children, Hotel-Motel Fund, Solid Waste Fund, Transit Fund, Cemetery Fund and special grant funds.
The 2013 budget has been in preparation since January. The city council held budget policy workshops in January and March and adopted a budget policy on March 20. First reading on the tax rate and budget ordinances is scheduled for August 21. Second reading on the rates and final budget adoption is set for September 4, 2012.
The 2013 budget year runs from Oct. 1 through September 30, 2013.
Nuse’s presentation to council members:
City of San Marcos 2012-2013 budget presentation