In accordance with the requirements of the City Charter, the City Council's responsibilities, as provided by City Charter Sections 8.3 and 8.4, are:
- To hold a public hearing on the recommended budget, notice of which shall be published at least one week prior to the hearing; and
- No later than May 20th, adopt, by resolution, the annual budget for the next fiscal year.
This budget proposal includes a proposed budget for 2019/20 and projected budgets for 2020/21 and 2021/22. The City Council will not be asked to adopt the projected budgets, but the use of the multi-year projections is to assist in:
- Providing a better understanding of our financial position (Revenue and Cost Drivers, Hidden Liabilities)
- Development of strategic response to the financial reality
- Implementing a budget plan to reflect a strategic, proactive response (Ongoing activities vs. one-time expenditures, specific strategies regarding staggering expense, reducing costs, or adjusting revenue)
- Long-Term sustainability based on the community’s desire for the services to be provided
The proposed budget that considers the following factors that govern the stewardship of public funds and ensure a fair tax rate to the property owners within Mason:
- The City must function within the limits of the financial resources available. This requires a commitment to a balanced budget.
- The budget will comply with provisions of the State Constitution, City Charter, Municipal Code and sound fiscal policy.
- Basic services will be maintained to at least current levels and will be funded adequately.
- Program services will be provided in the most efficient method while meeting the needs of the public.
- Accurate Capital Improvement Program (CIP) incorporated into the budget to insure necessary infrastructure improvements will be undertaken to meet needs.
- Ensure Proprietary Funds are self-sufficient by users through appropriate rate studies and asset management plans.
- Revenue will be estimated at realistic and conservative levels.
- Reserves will be budgeted at appropriate levels to protect the City from future uncertainties.
- Minimum General Fund Balance: It is essential that the City maintain adequate levels of unassigned fund balance to mitigate risk that can occur from unforeseen revenue fluctuations. The fund balance also provides cash flow liquidity for the City’s general operations and working capital. Fund Balance will be a minimum year end Unassigned Fund Balance of at least 20%. Maintaining at least two months or 16% of Unassigned Fund Balance is generally considered by the Governmental Finance Officers’ Association (GFOA) to be a best practice.
- Maximum Fund Balance: In the event that year end Unassigned Fund Balance exceeds the maximum of 35% threshold the following measures, in priority order, shall be used to reduce fund balance:
- Fully fund the Employee Defined Benefit pension and OPEBs.
- Move up the debt schedule for existing bond payments to lower the City’s debt burden.
- Pre-fund or accelerate capital improvements in the CIP by transferring funds to the Capital Improvement budgets, including Fire Equipment.
- Reduce the millage rate.
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