College Park FY 2012 budget

The City of College Park has just made draft budget for the year 2012 online .  You can download the 374 page budget from here

The Council’s budget worksessions will begin next Saturday, April 9, at 7:30 am and continue the following Saturday, April 16.  The public hearing on the budget will be Tuesday, May 10, before the regular Council meeting, and the budget will be adopted on Tuesday, May 24.

Here are the highlights of the budget, according to the City manager.

The City Manager’s Requested Operating Budget for FY2012 is $13,751,606 (an 8.68% increase from the FY2011 adopted budget), including operating revenues of $13,534,720 plus a $216,886 inter fund transfer from the Parking Debt Service Fund.

The FY2012 City Manager’s Requested Operating Budget includes the following revenue and expenditure highlights and changes:

General Fund Revenues

  • The real property tax rate of $0.322 per $100 of assessed valuation is maintained, with no increase from FY2011.
  • The personal property tax rate $0.805 per $100 of assessed valuation is maintained, with no increase from FY2011.
  •  The FY2012 requested budget projects intergovernmental revenue at 5.1 % less than the FY2011 adopted budget (due to reductions in the FY12 budget for admission & amusement tax and hotel/motel tax).
  • Residential properties currently comprise 67.5 percent of the City’s tax base. The gross residential tax base (prior to application of the homestead tax credit for owner-occupied properties) in FY2011 was $1,461,789,930 and is projected to be $1,458,785,236 for FY2012, a decrease of 0.2%. After applying the homestead tax credit at 104% for FY2012, there is an increase of 7.6%.
  • Commercial and industrial properties comprise the other 32.5 percent of the City’s tax base. The commercial tax base in FY2011 was $649,773,961 and is projected to be $701,158,520 for FY2012, an increase of 7.9%.
  • One cent of the tax rate represents $231,149, including real property tax, personal property tax at 2.5 times the real property tax rate, PILOT-UM CASL property and PILOT-UM Washington Post property.
  • Economic development has had a minimal financial impact on the tax revenues, despite new residential projects under construction on U. S. Route 1. In the future, however, economic development projects should have a much greater impact on revenue and should represent a greater percentage of revenue as the pursuit of economic development projects continue.
  • The FY2012 requested budget does not include any proposed increases in fees, charges or fines.
  • The public parking garage opened in August 2009 and permanent 20-year financing settled on February 25, 2011. The FY12 requested budget includes an inter fund transfer from the Parking Debt Service Fund to the General Fund in order to cover the excess of debt service on the tax-exempt bond over parking garage-related revenues. It is hoped that, over time, revenues from the parking garage will increase to close that gap.

General Fund Expenditures

  • FY2012 is the second year of a 3-year collective bargaining agreement with AFSCME Local 1209C, covering certain Public Works employees. The FY2012 budget includes 2.5% merit increases. Negotiations are underway but not concluded for FY2012. Traditionally, employees not covered by the collective bargaining agreement have received the same benefits as employees covered under the contract.
  • The FY2012 Requested Budget includes a net decrease in full-time equivalents (FTEs) of 0.62 from FY2011, itemized as follows:
  1. A decrease of 0.50 FTE in Fiscal Support Specialist position (in Finance, Accounting & Financial Reporting, program 1022)
  2. An additional 0.25 FTE in Office Specialist position (in Public Services)
  3. An increase of 0.72 FTE in Contract Police Officers (in Public Services, Speed Enforcement, program 2025) to certify speed enforcement camera citations
  4. A net decrease of 1.04 FTE in YFS Grants, program 4015, as that grant funded program is not scheduled to continue in FY12. In FY11, existing part-time Family Therapists increased their hours to cover the grant program activities.
  5. An increase of 0.15 FTE for a Tree Inventory Intern (in Public Works-Tree & Landscape program 5020) as this former contract employee was reclassified in FY11 as a temporary employee.
  6. Additional hours for a Planning intern, funded by a DCPMA grant
  • Health insurance rates did not increase for FY2012. All other insurance costs increased 1.6%.
  • The net result of FTE changes, merit increases and changes in employee insurance costs increased FY2012 personnel costs by 3.0% over FY2011.
  • The parking garage tax-exempt bond was issued on February 25, 2011, replacing bond anticipation notes (BANs) used for interim financing, and debt service on this SunTrust Bank bond is budgeted in the Debt Service program.

Parking Debt Service Fund

  • For FY2012, we will continue to use the Parking Debt Service Fund to accumulate the additional parking meter revenue resulting from the July 2007 increase in meter rates and the $2.50 increase in parking ticket fines for expired meter (violation 01) and overtime parking (violation 30) implemented in FY2011. For FY2012, an inter fund transfer from the Parking Debt Service Fund to the General Fund helps to offset debt service on the parking garage tax-exempt bond.

Capital Improvement Program (C.I.P.)

  • The FY2012 C.I.P. includes 29 active projects with projected 5-year expenditures of $43,401,971. Some of these projects are placeholders with no current funding. FY2012 inter fund transfer from the General Fund totals $1,151,835.