Town of Beaufort Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Tracker

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Underlined links indicated documents that have been added in the most recent update

Overview

A public hearing is scheduled June 10 for the fiscal year 2020 budget. Notes from the June 3 budget meeting have been added, and notes on the May 20 and 23 meetings have been updated.

The fiscal year is July 1-June 30, and, legally, the budget must be approved by June 30.

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Upcoming Meetings

May 20, 2019 : First Budget Workshop – 4 pm Town Hall

May 23, 2019 : Second Budget Workshop – 4 pm Town Hall

June 3, 2019 : Third Budget Workshop – 4 pm Town Hall

June 10, 2019 : Public Hearing on Budget at Regular Commissioners Meeting – 6 pm Train Depot

Budget Discussion & Documents

NEW | June 3, 2019 : Commissioners Budget Work Session – (Draft Minutes)

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Employee compensation took up the bulk of the meeting. Beaufort falls behind the market, compared to similar municipalities in employee pay. The fiscal year 2020 budget seeks to close the gap. Salaries would also be adjusted to reflect changes in cost of living.

Sixty employees would receive higher pay based on market adjustments, and 15 employees, which are already at appropriate market levels, would receive cost of living adjustments. Elected officials would also receive a pay adjustment “to account for the time the board members put into preparing for meetings and working outside of their own personal activities and lives,” according to Town Manager John Day.

The proposed pay plan would be funded in part by tax increases which were not a part of the original budget as presented May 13:

  • A .0465 property tax increase in FY20 (from .4135 in FY19) which raises the tax rate to .46 per $100 valuation
  • A 9 percent expected revenue increase due to property revaluation in 2021, up from the previously forecast 8 percent
  • A .03 property tax increase in 2023, which would bring the total to .49/$100

Comms. Marianna Hollenshed and John Hagel asked about phasing in the plan, but Day said there may be morale issues among staff due to increasing pay at different times. Comm. Ann Cartner agreed, and said she was concerned the town would lose qualified employees. Comm. Charles McDonald called for the board to support moving ahead with the plan.

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View the proposed pay plan here.

UPDATED | May 23, 2019 : Commissioners Budget Work Session – (Draft Minutes)

Town Manager John Day presented an interactive budget tool to the board of commissioners, allowing them to see how tax increases – or lack thereof – would change the budget.

A list of unfunded items also came out of the meeting.

$379,00 in FY20 General Fund and Utility Fund items has not been funded yet, including the salaries of three firefighter positions being added. Another $319,400 worth of items are unfunded for FY21.

Compared to similar towns, Beaufort falls behind in employee pay. To make up this gap, the town needs $380,000 in the first year, with that amount climbing each year due to market and merit adjustments. $274,000 of that cost would go to public safety salaries. Covering this shortfall would also enable the town to raise its public works minimum wage to $15 per hour.

The Board of Commissioners and Town Staff will hold a meeting to discuss the shortfalls and other budget matters at 4 pm, June 3, at Town Hall.

See the Unfunded Items Document below:

Town of Beaufort unfunded items as of May 23, 2019

May 20, 2019 : Commissioners Budget Work Session

Town Manager John Day summarized proposed budget items to consider for the board of commissioners. Here is the budget version that was discussed at this meeting.

  • Forecast for property valuations in 2020 is 10%
  • Sales tax revenue for FY19 was greater than expected
  • Funds for the town engineer and an engineer intern were added for FY20
  • Town would increase its contribution to employee retirement over the next three years
  • A market study for pay adjustment for town employees has been completed but is not yet included in the budget
  • There would be no utility rate increases in FY20
  • The unassigned fund balance is underfunded by $900,000
  • FY20 will be a big year for capital improvement spending, including funding the beginning stages of boardwalk/bulkhead work, Cedar Street Park planning, a new pumper truck for the fire department, combined utility line and street improvements, Pollock Street stormwater drainage improvements, and Cedar Street utility line work

May 13, 2019 : Regular Commissioners Meeting – (Draft Minutes)

Town Manager John Day gave the first presentation on the FY 2020 to the Board of Commissioners at their regular monthly meeting May 13.

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View video of the entire meeting or see the full proposed budget

FY-20-Budget-Presentation-20190513-FINAL-1