HYATTSVILLE – With major revenues in the city general fund expected to increase in the coming year, the city of Hyattsville is preparing to also increase spending in both its general operating and capital improvements funds. The mayor and council met on Feb. 24 to read and discuss the fiscal year 2017 draft budget created […]
HYATTSVILLE – With major revenues in the city general fund expected to increase in the coming year, the city of Hyattsville is preparing to also increase spending in both its general operating and capital improvements funds.
The mayor and council met on Feb. 24 to read and discuss the fiscal year 2017 draft budget created by the city staff and administration, who considered input gathered from the council and community over the previous work sessions.
Tracey Nicholson, the city administrator, presented the budget to the council and said the budget will establish the quality and quantity of services the city will deliver.
“The annual budget helps establish the quality and quantity of services and programs initiated by the city,” she said. “This document was compiled based on the mayor and council’s priorities, resident input received from surveys and other medium and staff recommendations.”
City staff is proposing a general fund budget of $17.23 million and a capital improvements fund of $7.2 million. These represent a 4 percent and 17.2 percent increase from 2016, respectively. The approved fiscal year 2016 general fund budget was $16.5 million.
The special revenue fund is also expected to increase, while scheduled debt service payments will remain the same at $1.5 million, as the city has acquired no new debt.
According to city budget documents and Nicholson, revenue to the general fund is expected to increase significantly.
“Real property taxes are projected to be $11 million, which is an increase of 4.4 percent over last year. Personal property taxes are projected to generate $584,000, which is a 5.9 percent increase over last year,” Nicholson said.
City income tax revenue is also projected to increase by 2.9 percent.
Some increases to the draft budget over last year include the addition of $10,000 for the school grant program, an increase in salaries, money for planned sidewalk installations, vehicle purchases and additional staffing requests, including two new full-time positions and one part-time.
Ron Brooks, the city treasurer, said the budget is a working document, which will be continually molded. The draft document presented at the Feb. 24 meeting is preliminary and will be up for discussion at the coming council work sessions.
“We are presenting a budget that has an operating shortfall of right around $400,000, which means again another year where we would be pulling down on our carry forward balance,” he said.
Currently, the city’s fund balance is approximately $9.3 million. With the adjustment made to accommodate the shortfall, the fund would continue forward at $8.8 million.
While the continuation of using the fund balance worried some council members, since the budget is just in the beginning stages and the draft was given to the members just that day, the council agreed to go further in-depth at the next work session.
The council will meet on March 7 for a regular meeting and on March 16 for a public hearing on the budget. The public hearing beings at 7 pm.