City Commission to consider proposed budget on July 20

City Commissioner will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget during their July 20 meeting.

The budget does not include any tax increases and has been discussed in several commission work sessions.

City Manager Greg Doyon has called this a continuation of the city’s economic recovery budgeting.

City budget proposal includes no tax, utility increases

There are also no increases for assessments or utility rates and departments were asked to only request additional budget for items critically essential to their operations.

The budget doesn’t include COVID relief fund expenditures as those will be addressed in separate budget discussions and mid-year budget amendments will be made for those one time funds.

Under state law, the budget must be adopted by the later of the first Thursday after the first Tuesday in September or within 30 calendar days of receiving certified taxable values from the Montana Department of Revenue. But the budget is not finalized until the commission sets tax levies, an action that will be scheduled when the city receives its certified taxable values from the state, which is usually in August.

City reviews budget, several funds take hit from COVID

The city is estimating about $400,000 in newly taxable property but that also won’t be finalized until the city receives its certified values from the state.

The proposed general fund budget uses $736,648 of fund balance, which will lower the projected fund balance for the fiscal year that runs July 1 through June 30, 2022 to 20.8 percent. The city’s policy is a recommended minimum of 22 percent, which equates to about two months of operating expenses for cash flow needs, maintaining the city’s quality, low-risk credit rating and to address unexpected expenses.