Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hailey outlines next year?s budget

2.6 percent decrease in funds anticipated

Express Staff Writer

Hailey city officials have begun consideration of a proposed $10.5 million fiscal year 2007-2008 budget.

Hailey Mayor Susan McBryant gave a summary of the city's budgetary goals for the 2008 fiscal year at a City Council meeting Monday, June 25.

Operating revenues are expected to increase by more than $7,000, a change of 0.2 percent from 2007. This is the result of an increase of 4 percent in property taxes and 8 percent in franchise and sales tax revenues.

However, this increase will be offset by a 4 percent increase in operating expenses, and that consists of a 3 percent pay raise for city employees, including the mayor, in order to make wages more commensurate with those of similar communities. The monthly stipend of Planning and Zoning Commissioners will increase from $155 to $225, and salaries for City Council members will increase from $515 to $800 per month.

There will also be an expenditure of approximately $100,000 for annual capital maintenance, such as servicing vehicles, building repair and computer replacement. The overall decrease in the budget will require approximately $315,000, money left over from the previous year, to cover the city's operating costs.

Other anticipated revenue streams, which will be used for annual capital projects, include reserved annexation fees from Airport West and Woodside Elementary School, development impact fees, park in-lieu fees from Sweetwater, and new annexation fees from Cutters. These will put approximately $2 million into Hailey's coffers and will be separate from the revenues for operating expenses. City staff is in the process of developing a capital improvement plan expense budget to plan the improvements that will be funded by this sizeable additional revenue.

McBryant also said the goals presented did not include funding for any organizations outside the city, as she is concerned about the legality of using citizens' tax money for that purpose. The exception to this is supplying marketing funds for the Hailey Chamber of Commerce, something allowed in the local option tax ordinance, and continued support of SIEDO, an educational non-profit organization.

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