The city of Sherman is proposing a $94.8 million budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. The proposed budget, which is slated to go into effect on Oct. 1 is expected to be discussed again during a public hearing on Aug. 18 prior to a vote on its adoption.
Here are five things to know about this year’s budget:
1. It is a $5 million decrease from last year
The proposed budget represents a decrease of nearly $4.6 million compared to the current year’s budget. For the 2018-2019 fiscal year, city staff budgeted about $99.4 million, and included capital expenses that are not reflected in the upcoming budget.
2. A tax rate increase is likely
Sherman residents will likely see their tax rate increase by nearly six cents compared to 2018-2019. The city is proposing increasing the city’s property tax rate from $0.4273 to $.489 for each $100 of assessed value.
This rate would put the city’s maintenance and operations rate, which funds city services, at about $0.34 per $100 of assessed value. The city is proposing a small relief from the tax increase in the form of a $4 reduction to the city’s monthly solid waste fees, which will bring the tax burden to about $0.45, city officials said.
3. City debt is increasing
The upcoming budget reflects a nearly $2.4 million increase on the city’s debt service. This will bring the amount that the city pays annually on bonds and debt to about $4.4 million.
4. General fund remains healthy, utilities is low
The city’s general fund is projected to be at about $8 million for the upcoming fiscal year. This would represent 72 days of reserve funding and put it within the recommended 70 to 90 days of reserve recommended.
The city’s utility fund is expected to fall below the recommended reserve balance with $4.2 million or 64 days. Solid waste is expected to have a fund balance of $855,000, which represents 41 days of reserve, but a one-time payment from the Texoma Area Solid Waste Authority make up some of the difference.
5. There are plans for new city staff, pay increases
The budget includes funding for 464 full-time employees, an increase of eight over the previous year. This includes positions in solid waste, parks and recreation and a dispatcher position.
The budget also includes an across the board increase to all city staff that is expected to cost $720,000.
What do you think about next year’s budget? Let local government reporter Michael Hutchins know at MHutchins@HeraldDemocrat.com.