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 the June 4 meeting, the Assembly officially wrapped up this year’s budget season. The final budget book will be posted on CBJ’s budget page in late June, so make sure to check that out.