The Walled Lake City Council has adopted a city budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011-12 that includes a surplus being steered toward the city’s fund balance to mitigate further projections of declining property tax revenues and state shared revenue receipts.
“Administration and council are being very cautious,” said Mayor William Roberts. “We want to keep a good fund balance amid declines in property taxes.”
Oakland County has experienced a 4-5 percent average decline in property tax revenue, whereas Walled Lake has realized a 12 percent decline, according to Roberts.
“So we’ll continue to see a drop over the next two years,” Councilman Casey Ambrose said. “We need to make sure our ducks are in a row and continue to right-size our city.”
The budget was approved unanimously at a special meeting held on Monday, June 13.
The beginning fund balance as of Friday, July 1 is anticipated to be $2.33 million, while the ending fund balance as of June 30, 2011 is pegged at $2.42 million, according to Roberts.
“Fortunately, over the last few years there were things done to right-size the city, along with outsourcing to help realize a surplus in the fund balance,” Ambrose said. “As minor as it is, we’re headed in the right direction.”
A difference of about $65,000 was added to the fund balance during the budget process.
“There were some areas where department budgets were trimmed a bit,” Roberts said. “In the current fiscal year, we built up a good fund balance and we hope to continue that strategy and build it up.”
The city may amend the budget in the near future, once bargaining unit agreements are negotiated.
“Union contracts are not settled and hopefully we can come to a resolution that is beneficial to both the city as well as the employees,” Roberts said.
Total general fund operating revenues for the city are estimated at $4.5 million. Most of the city’s revenue comes from property taxes, which is expected to bring in approximately $2.68 million. Other main sources of revenue include state sources ($270,974) and other proceeds totaling $557,420.
Estimated expenditures are pegged at $4.39 million. Expenditure sources impacting the general fund include police services ($1.76 million), fire services ($999,636), and Department of Public Works services ($428,024).
The city millage rate decreased from 18.3247 mills to 17.7347 mills last year. The library millage cumulatively remains steady at 1.7821 mills. The Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) millage also remains unchanged at 0.59 mills.
A mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 of a property’s taxable value, which is generally equal to half the property’s market value.