Take a bite out of the budget

The Assembly Finance Committee is not wasting time. At its April 10 meeting, it moved forward the Capital Improvement Program, as well as the sections of the budget pertaining to the Airport and Docks & Harbors. What it means to move items forward is that the committee won’t plan to address these items again during this committee process. The public will have an opportunity to comment on them during a Special Assembly Meeting public hearing on the budget April 24 at 5:30 p.m.

To learn more about the Capital Improvement Program, read this resolution and this memo. You’ll see there are projects on the list that use Marine Passenger Fees. Marine Passenger Fee project recommendations are still going through the public process – the public has until May 2 to comment – and the Assembly Finance Committee is well aware of that. Any changes that come from that process will apply to this budget process.

If you want to dig a little more into the budget, here’s a list of budget increases, which are part of the $6 million increase in proposed expenditure over FY19. The increases include having to fund decreases in program revenues.

The finance committee meets next this Wednesday, April 17 at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall Chambers. Here’s the agenda. It’s scheduled to hear funding requests from Travel Juneau and Juneau Economic Development Forum, and review the Marine Passenger Fee recommendations. It’ll also hear an update on Water and Wastewater utility rates.

April 15th, 2019|

It’s only the beginning

The budget got introduced last Wednesday, April 3, during a Special Assembly Meeting, followed by a Finance Committee. The big takeaway for now — CBJ is in good shape. Though there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding the state budget, the proposed budget was built independent of what may come from the capitol; CBJ has not tried to predict the outcome.

The overall proposed expenditure budget for FY20 is $356 million. That’s up $6.3 million, or 1.8 percent, from FY19. The total revenue projection is $350 million, which means a draw from savings of about $6 million.

The overall budget funds general government operations ($77 million), the Juneau School District ($87.5 million), enterprise organizations ($138 million), capital improvement projects ($36.8 million), and bond debt service ($16.7 million). General Government includes several departments, like Juneau Police Department, Capital City Fire/Rescue, Public Works, Community Development, Parks & Recreation, and Juneau Public Libraries. Enterprise organizations, which fund their operations entirely through user fees, are Bartlett Regional Hospital, Juneau International Airport, Docks & Harbors, and Water & Sewer Utilities.

The proposed property tax mill levy rate is 10.56 – that’s dropped a bit, 0.1 mills less than FY19. The rate is broken into two buckets: 9.36 mills for the operating budget and 1.2 mills for debt service. CBJ is projecting to collect $45 million in property tax revenues to help fund education and general government programs. The debt service mill rate would raise $5.9 million to pay debt service.

The biggest unknown right now is, of course, the state funding. The CBJ budget components most directly affected by state funding are education, capital improvement projects, school debt reimbursement and revenue sharing. Another unknown are contract negotiations, which are still underway for all CBJ bargaining units and employees.

The Assembly Finance Committee is scheduled to meet every Wednesday through May 15, except for May 1.

At the next Finance meeting, April 10, staff will go through the budget introduction again in case there are more questions from Assembly members. The Assembly Finance Committee will hear presentations from the Airport and Docks & Harbors. The committee is also scheduled to make decision on the capital improvements projects (CIP) plan.

April 8th, 2019|

CBJ’s Budget Season Begins

April 3 kicks off a nine-week process that will determine the City and Borough of Juneau’s budget for fiscal year 2020. City Manager Rorie Watt will introduce the preliminary FY20 budget during a Special Assembly Meeting on April 3 at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall Chambers immediately followed by an overview presentation on the proposed budget at an Assembly Finance Committee meeting.

The preliminary budget includes the CBJ operating budget, the Juneau School District general operating budget, capital improvement projects and the property tax mill levy rate. The Juneau Assembly will review the budget over the next seven weeks and adopt a final budget.

The Assembly Finance Committee is scheduled to meet every Wednesday through May 15, except for May 1. The public can comment on the budget at a public hearing during a Special Assembly Meeting on April 24 at 5:30 p.m.

The Assembly is also scheduled to make a preliminary decision on the Juneau School District budget funding during the April 24 Special Meeting and is scheduled to adopt the school district’s general operating budget at a Regular Juneau Assembly Meeting on May 13. The Assembly is scheduled to adopt CBJ’s operating budget, capital improvement projects, and the property tax mill levy rate during a Regular Assembly Meeting on June 3.

Keep checking this site for regular weekly updates on what happened at the Assembly Finance Committee Meeting and what’s coming up. Thanks for following along.

April 2nd, 2019|

Assembly adopts $335 million budget

After a couple of months of analyzing and discussing the proposed budget in Assembly Finance Committee meetings, the Juneau Assembly adopted the budget during a Regular Assembly Meeting June 4 by passing two ordinances and a resolution on CBJ’s operating budget, capital improvement projects, and the property tax mill levy rate.

The budget includes the City and Borough of Juneau’s operating budget (both general government and enterprise organizations), capital improvement projects, the property tax mill levy rate, and the previously adopted Juneau School District general operating budget. General government includes most CBJ departments, like Juneau Police Department, Capital City Fire/Rescue, Parks & Recreation, Engineering, Community Development and the Libraries. Enterprise organizations are Bartlett Regional Hospital, Juneau International Airport, Docks & Harbors, and Water & Sewer.

This is the first year of a two-year budget cycle. In the first year of each two-year budget, the Assembly adopts the first year’s budget (FY19) and approves, in concept, the second year’s budget (FY20). The conceptually approved FY20 budget will be brought back before the Assembly next spring for review and adjustments before final adoption. The City Manager’s FY19 proposed budget was introduced April 4 and the Assembly Finance Committee held six meetings to review and make changes. There was a public hearing on the budget during a Special Assembly Meeting on April 25, and an additional opportunity to comment during last night’s Regular Meeting.

The Assembly adopted an overall citywide budget of $335 million, which is down $1 million from FY18. The major components of the budget are:

  • $85.7 million for the Juneau School District. This amount is $1.8 million (2.1 percent) less than the district’s FY18 budget – state funding decreased while CBJ’s contribution increased by $1.1 million (4 percent). The Assembly already adopted this component of the budget at its May 14 Regular Meeting.
  • $132.9 million for Enterprise Funds (hospital, airport, water utilities, and Docks & Harbors), which includes negotiated wage increases.
  • $71.1 million for general government, an increase of $1.8 million (2.6 percent) over the FY18 budget. The total is $1.3 million above projected revenues and requires the use of savings. CBJ has adequate savings; prior to this FY19 draw, the Available Fund Balance (savings) is at $14 million.
  • $25.7 million for initial capital improvement projects. Additional appropriations will be made throughout the year as funding gets committed. CBJ annually spends around $60 million on projects.
  • $18 million for the bond debt service budget, which is down $3.4 million due to school bonds being fully paid off in FY18.

The property tax mill levy rate is 10.66 – the same as last year – which is broken into two buckets: 9.36 mills for the operating budget and 1.3 mills for debt service. CBJ is projecting to collect $44.5 million in property tax revenues, which is a $0.5 million (0.8 percent) increase to help fund education and general government programs. The debt service mill rate raises $6.5 million to pay debt service, which is an increase of $0.1 million.

With last night’s meeting, the Assembly officially wrapped up this year’s budget season. The final budget book will be posted on this page in late June, so make sure to check that out. And stay tuned, this summer, for more information on the budget and how it relates to you. See you soon!

June 5th, 2018|

School budget is done!

The Juneau Assembly adopted an ordinance appropriating about $85.8 million to the Juneau School District for fiscal year 2019 during a Regular Assembly Meeting May 14. Funding comes from a combination of sources, including CBJ’s contribution of about $27.8 million. That figure consists of: $26.4 million for general operations, which is the maximum local contribution allowed by state law, and roughly $1.38 million for student activities, pupil transportation, food service and Community Schools.

The $26.4 million in general operations support is an increase of $0.6 million over FY18. The other program and activities funding is an increase of $0.5 million over FY18.

The Assembly is set to finalize the rest of the budget at the June 4 Regular Meeting.

May 23rd, 2018|