Friday, April 10, 2015

Highland City 2015-2016 Draft Budget

Once again it is time for the council to start reviewing budget proposals for next year. We recently received an initial 2015-2016 budget draft to discuss at a council work session on April, 14th (6pm at city hall). The budget draft also included a snapshot of where we are as of the end of Feb with respect to the current budget year.

I’ve put this information online in Google in an effort to help any residents who want to contribute in the budget discussion. Please feel free to come to the work session and/or share in questions or comments. You can also email or call me with questions before or after the meeting and I’ll do my best to respond.

The online spreadsheet contains multiple sheets. Below is a description of each sheet in the draft budget:

  • 2015-16 Charts: This sheet contains 5 charts that compare the 2014-15 and 2015-16 budgets.
  • 2015-16 Summary: Summarizes 2014-15 and 2015-16 budget information for each fund[1]
  • 2015-16 Summary  All Funds: Compares revenue and expense data for all funds for 2014-15 and 2015-16.
  • YTD Charts: This sheet contains 5 charts that compare the current year budget (2014-15) with year-to-date revenue and expenses as of Feb 27th.
  • YTD Summary: Summarizes 2014-15 budget and current year-to-date information for each fund.
  • YTD Summary  All Funds: Compares year-to-date and budgeted revenue and expense data for the current fiscal year (2014-2015).
  • Data: The raw data provided by finance director. It includes actual expenses from the 2010-11 through 2013-14 budget years as well as YTD and budget data for 2014-15 and draft budget info for 2015-16.
  • Constants: Contains values I use in formulas.


  • The city budget is divided into multiple funds. These include the following funds: General, Highland Open Space Special Service District (SSD), Debt Service, Capital Improvement – Parks, Capital Improvement – Road Projects, Capital Improvement – Buildings, NW Annexation Capital Project, Town Center Exaction Fee Capital, Sewer, Pressurized Irrigation, Storm Sewer, and Culinary Water.  Some funds (e.g. Sewer and Culinary Water) have their own fee based revenue sources and are managed independently.
  • When comparing YTD with budget information it is important to recognize that in some cases revenue and expenses are uneven during the course of the year. For example, most property tax revenue is received at the end and beginning of the year and most road expenses are incurred April through October.
  • The following is a note from the finance director that he included in the email the that the was sent to council members:

    There is a budget work session on Tuesday, April 14. The attached spreadsheet serves two purposes. It serves as the Feb. 2015 (FY 2015) financial update, since one of the columns on the budget spreadsheet shows the actuals through Feb. 2015. It also serves as the first cut for the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 budget. I am Happy to say that the fixed asset module in Caselle [the finance software used by the city] has been installed and is working as planned so that the depreciation numbers are now in the financial statements.

    The budget for next year in the general fund shows revenue of $7,723,030 and expenses of $7,722,811 for A balanced budget. Property taxes compared to last year’s budget are slightly lower. I may have overestimated property tax collections for FY 2015. Collection of delinquent taxes for budget FY 2016 are $100,000 less than FY 2015. We have collected most of the outstanding delinquent property taxes for the last 4 years. Sales taxes are projected to be Higher by $90,000 next budget year vs. this year.

    There are other items in the budget, such as a playground for Wimbledon Park in Open Space and in the Capital Parks Budget some money for Heritage Park.  This is the first cut of the FY 2015-2016 budget … .

    There is a column in the spreadsheet showing the percentage increase or decrease comparing the FY 2015 budget amounts to the FY 2016 budget amounts for any change greater that plus or minus 5%. There is also a column with a brief explanation of these variances. I hope this makes it easier to analyze the budget.

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