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.