A 2021-2022 operating budget of $31.17 million, including a $30.39 million General Fund budget, and the city’s Municipal Services Special Tax and Special Municipal Sewer Tax for the fiscal year starting July 1, were adopted Monday night by the City Council.
The 2021-2022 budget, first laid out at the June 7 City Council meeting (after an all-day budget workshop in May), calls for a 10 percent increase in General Fund spending, from $27.53 million to $30.39 million. Personnel-related costs, which includes salaries/wages, benefits and retirement costs, are the largest overall General Fund expense, at $19,867,577 for 2021-22, 6 percent higher than the prior year’s projection. Such costs make up 65% of the total 2021-22 General Fund budget.
At the June 7 meeting, City Administrator Sara Lillevand said it is expected that Piedmont, and most other California cities, will increasingly suffer from rising pension and retiree medical care costs. Cities will have limited ability to battle that situation, she said, which is mostly a function of how well California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s investments perform in the future.
Projected General Fund revenues in 2021-22 are about $29.69 million, down about $1 million from projected 2020-21 revenue. About three-quarters of that revenue comes from property-related taxes.
Projected operations and maintenance budgets covering city offices and facilities, at $7.43 million, is a 24 percent jump from 2020-21. A key driver of that increase is about $500,000 in additional funding for work on the city’s Housing Element, a plan for Piedmont’s future housing needs that will consume significant resources.
About $1.7 million is proposed to be set aside for major equipment replacement in all departments.
Recreation program revenue is budgeted at $1,366,500 in 2021-22, up $154,000 from the 2020-21 projection but still approximately $400,000 less than 2018-19 and the pre-COVID times. The FY 2021-22 budget assumes limited recreation programs, perhaps 50 percent of normal, will continue throughout the new fiscal year.
The Recreation Department’s pandemic-related financial hits were largely offset by a “surprisingly robust” real property transfer tax revenue, a direct function of strong home sales in 2020-21.
Preschool program revenue is budgeted at $618,000 for 2021-22, an increase of approximately $200,000 over the 2020-21 projection. The primary reason for the rise is the increase from 4-day to 5-day programming and the offering of programs during the holiday breaks.
The Municipal Services Special Tax will be charged as follows: Single-family residences of up to 4,999 square feet $551; residences 5,000 to 9,999 square feet, $620; 10,000 to 14,999 square feet, $715; 15,000 to 20,000 square feet, $817; over 20,000 square feet, $930; commercial properties of up to 10,000 square feet, $930 and over 10,000 square feet, $1,395; and multi-family residences, $383 per unit.
The annual Special Municipal Sewer Tax charges will be single-family residences of up to 4,999 square feet, $625; residences of 5,000 to 9,999 square feet, $712; 10,000 to 14,999 square feet, $821; 15,000 to 20,000 square feet, $957; residences larger than 20,000 square feet, $1,127; commercial properties up to 10,000 square feet, $1,127 and over 10,000 square feet, $1,554; and multi-family residences, $521 per unit.
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