By CHRISTIN COYNE
WILLOW PARK – With sales and ad valorem tax revenues projected to increase during the upcoming fiscal year, the proposed Willow Park city budget calls for maintaining the current tax rate.
Staff members say the budget is balanced without the need for the use of reserves or interfund transfers from prior years and includes some money for other projects such as road work.
However, council member Gene Martin said he believes the city needs to cut the ad valorem tax rate, particularly as voters will likely soon be asked to approve the issuance of bonds to cover the cost of needed capital improvement projects.
The two primary sources of the city’s general fund revenue are expected to increase this year.
The city’s taxable property values have increased from approximately $332 million to $349 million for the fiscal year beginning in October, according to information presented to the council.
At the proposed and current tax rate of 47.05 cents per $100 valuation, the projected property tax revenue for the city is expected to be nearly $1.6 million, according to the proposed budget.
Sales tax collections are projected to increase from approximately $636,000 collected during the 2012 fiscal year to $654,000 during the upcoming fiscal year.
The total general fund revenue, including other types of revenues such as franchise fees and development fees, is expected to tally $3 million.
Balancing the budget
Closing the city’s operating budget deficits was the top priority during the development of the proposed 2014 budget, according to the budget narrative.
“The [fiscal year] 2013-14 budget is balanced,” the council was told in a budget memo. “Normally this wouldn’t be considered a major issue. State law requires cities to submit a balanced budget, but it’s how the city has balanced the budget the last few years that has been an area of concern.”