The St. Louis Board of Aldermen is currently considering the FY 2006 budget sent to them by the Board of Estimate & Apportionment. By City Charter, the Board of Aldermen has the power to shift and cut line items within the budget, but not to add to the bottom line. FY2006 begins in June 2005.
Here’s some interesting things about the Budget document:General Fund budget is approximately $416 million.
The budget preserves the current service levels in every City department, but it adds very little in the way of new services. One exception is in the Problem Properties Initiative, which is being expanded using revenues produced from the initiative itself
The budget includes a 2 percent raise for all non-uniformed City employees
Each police officer or firefighter will receive $1,350, in addition to the raises mandated in their pay matrixes
There will be payments to all employee pension systems, and sharply increased payments to the police and fire departments pension systems
The Budget office projects a 2.6 percent increase in traditional recurring revenues, such as taxes, fees, state & federal funds, and departmental receipts
Hot new restaurants along Washington Avenue, in the eastern Loop area, and in other parts of the City have increased projected total restaurant tax revenues by 7 percent
Building permit revenues are expected to increase by more than $2 million, as major projects like the Pinnacle Gaming Development, the Bottle District, and Saint Louis University’s science building begin construction next year
Good efforts by Ivy Neyland Pinkston and Jim Garavaglia of the Comptroller’s office have identified hundreds of thousands of dollars in new annual revenue from new service contracts and from savings on previously planned expenditures
The popular NSO program remains funded from the Public Safety budget
The final season at Busch Stadium and the return of hockey is expected to bump amusement tax revenues up by 5 percent
Rising weekly average wages in the City will create modest gains in earnings and payroll taxes
Tomorrow, I’ll share some of my thoughts on the City’s financial situation.