Residents encouraged to provide feedback on 2021 budget
Sales tax revenue projected to increase next year
Last updated 10/14/2020 at 10:45am
Mukilteo residents still have plenty of time to voice their opinions on the city’s proposed 2021 budget.
During her Oct. 5 presentation to the City Council where she introduced the 2021 preliminary budget, Mayor Jennifer Gregerson outlined the schedule for public input. A third preliminary budget public hearing is scheduled Oct. 19, along with the opening of tax hearings. The council will close preliminary budget public hearings Oct. 26.
Final budget public hearings are scheduled Nov. 2 and Nov. 9, and will wrap up Nov. 16 when the council is tentatively scheduled to adopt the final budget.
The city projects general fund revenues to be $15,380,694 with general fund expenditures at $15,637,524. Operating revenues will cover operating expenditures by using $256,830 of fund balance (reserve), while maintaining a 23% fund balance. The city policy is to have 16.67% minimum.
The general fund is the city’s main operating fund for governmental services.
The city is projecting $5.7 million in property tax revenue, including a 1% increase in the property tax levy. For 2020, the city estimates it will collect $5.65 million in property tax revenues.
Gregerson said the city was projecting $2.7 million in sales tax revenue based on 2018, 2019 and 2020 numbers, including construction projects. But after doing some regional economic analysis later in the week, Gregerson said the city was going to reduce its estimate of sales tax revenue in 2021 by $135,000. During an Oct. 12 special meeting, Gregerson asked the council to think about the reduction and how to manage it.
“If we just take that out of the revenue line, basically it ends up using the ending fund balance if we just take no further action,” she said. “There’s not a lot of revenue options. But we could identify other revenue options for council or identify service and expenditure cuts. So your direction on … which of those paths, what kind of information you’re interested in, would be useful.”
Vice President Sarah Kneller and Councilmember Joe Marine inquired about sales tax received by the city from Washington State Ferries for the construction of the new terminal. As of this week, the city was still waiting to hear from Washington State Ferries on the sales tax breakdown. Most, but not all of the construction work on the new terminal, will be completed this year.
The city estimates 2020 sales tax revenues at $2.43 million, down from a budgeted $2.70 million. In 2019, Mukilteo collected $3.04 million in sales tax.
No new budget items were included in the general fund.
Budget reductions include some vacant positions – assistant planner for three months and several recreation department customer service clerks. Other departmental reductions are in travel and training, office supplies, and equipment.
In the waterfront parking fund, the city included $25,000 to the equipment replacement fund for future meter replacement. The street fund is holding a maintenance worker position open for six months. The emergency medical services fund includes a 1% increase allowed by law, which can be adopted after a public hearing.
The 2021 preliminary budget can be accessed at https://bit.ly/33RWTSO.