UNION — Taxes would not increase but water, sewer, and electric rates would under the City of Union’s proposed budget for fiscal 2017-2018.
In a report on the proposed budget released Friday, Finance Director Walker Gallman stated that the proposed budget projects expenditures totaling $45,975,700, a 1.82 percent increase over the current year’s budget.
The City of Union budget includes the General Fund which covers city departments such as the Union Public Safety Department; the Solid Waste Management Fund which covers the city’s collection/disposal of residential and business waste within its municipal boundaries; and the Utility Fund which covers the Utility Department and its water, sewer, electric, and natural gas divisions.
Gallman said that General Fund revenues are projected at $5,383,170 while expenditures are projected at $5,893,150, a decrease of approximately 3.8 percent from this year’s budget. He said this leaves a projected deficit of $509,980 which will be covered by fund balance.
In addition, Gallman said that to offset some of this deficit, the city should receive new revenue generated by the 1 cent local option sales tax beginning in May. Gallman said the revenue generated by the 1 cent local option sales tax will also provide taxpayers with a credit against their property taxes. He said there are no tax or fee increases in the proposed General Fund portion of the budget.
Gallman reported that the Solid Waste Management Fund for 2017-2018 is almost a break even with a budget of $764,380, an increase of less than 1 percent. He said that no increase is proposed for the Solid Waste Management Fee for fiscal 2017-2018.
Gallman said revenues for the Utility Fund are projected to total $37,448,640 with proposed expenditures totaling $38,474,720, an increase of 3.3 percent over last year’s proposed budget. He said the resulting projected deficit of $1,026,083 would be covered with retained earnings.
The Utility Fund budget also includes a a proposed 5 percent increase in the electric rate with Gallman adding that the PPA will continue to true up the cost of power each month.
Gallman said the budget also includes a proposed 2 percent water rate increase. He said that customers with meter sizes 2 inches and above will also see an increase in their base charge.
Sewer customers will also see an overall increase of 2 percent under the proposed budget.
While natural gas base rates will not increase, Gallman said the PGA will continue to true up the cost of gas each month.
The proposed budget also includes a 2 percent cost of living increase for city employees. Gallman added that the city will lose six positions at various times during fiscal 2017-2018 reducing the size of its workforce.
The budget must still be approved by Union City Council. Two readings of the budget and a public hearing are required before the budget becomes law.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.