Geneva budget plan doesn't count on sales tax hike

Updated 3/6/2018 7:12 AM

Geneva city officials expect that the city could be operated in fiscal year 2018-19 on a budget of $85.28 million.

That's if voters don't agree to double the city's sales tax to 1 percent.


The proposed budget does not count on getting that extra tax, or the 2 percent places-for-eating tax that could take effect May 1 if residents don't vote March 20 to raise the sales tax.

But should voters say "yes," another $1.9 million could enter the city's bank accounts between July 1 and April 30, 2020, about $1 million of which would be used on capital projects and equipment, according to a presentation given Monday night to the city council.

City Administrator Stephanie Dawkins said department heads were told to avoid increasing their budgets except for contractually mandated increases. And she chose not to count on the sales tax increase or on the dining tax.

The city is also, for the first time, preparing a two-year budget cycle. Technically, it will still only adopt a budget one year at a time. But planning a rough version of the fiscal year 2020 budget now will let the city get a jump next year on getting bids for work to be performed in summer 2019. Typically, it doesn't solicit bids for projects such as street repairs until after the budget is approved in April. Under the new plan, it could start seeking bids a few months earlier, Dawkins said.

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The proposed spending of $85.28 million includes $58 million in the enterprise funds -- electric, water/wastewater, refuse, cemetery and commuter parking funds. Users pay these costs.

The general fund, which pays for police and fire protection, streets and sidewalk maintenance, administration, community development and city council costs, is budgeted for $16.92 million.

The council will conduct a public hearing on the 2019 budget at 7 p.m. April 2 and is expected to approve the budget that night. The new fiscal year starts May 1.

Dawkins' PowerPoint presentation will be posted Tuesday on the city's website, The proposed budget was included in the city council's packet, which is also available on the website.

She will review the rest of the 37 funds that make up the budget March 26. And she asked aldermen to submit questions to her in writing by Wednesday each week. She will respond directly, and her answers will be posted by Fridays on the city website.

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