One of the most important annual actions of City Council is to approve a balanced budget. Many of you have heard me say that the City is the most complex $133 million dollar entity that I have seen. This is predicated by the 21 (twenty-one) different funds in the City and the State of Florida Uniform Accounting System.
The 21 funds consist of the General Fund which covers, the Mayor and City Council, City Manager, City Clerk, City Attorney, Planning, Finance, Fire-Rescue, Community Services, Police and Human Resources Departments. The Special Revenue Funds consist of Building Permits, East Naples Bay/Moorings Bay Tax Districts, Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District, Port Royal Dredging, Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), Streets, and Baker Park. Enterprise Funds are Water and Sewer, Naples Beach, Solid Waste, City Dock, Stormwater and the Tennis Center. The Internal Service Funds consists of Risk Management, Employee Benefits, Technology Services and Equipment Services.
Thrown in for good measure is our Debt Service/Public Service Tax Funds (I told you it is complex).
I will attempt to summarize the major elements; however, the budget details are very transparent and are available to the public for review on the City’s website, www.naplesgov.com. This will be the sixth consecutive year that the City’s millage rate is 1.18. The millage rate is the rate at which property taxes are levied on property. A mill is 1/1000 of a dollar. Property taxes are computed by multiplying the taxable value of the property by the number of mills levied (1.18).
During the economic downturn, very difficult choices had to be made with personnel reduced from 514 in 2008 to now at a proposed level of 458 for FY 2015, and capital
expenditures had to be deferred. The lowest personnel level was FY 2012 at 445. With the increase in property values the overall tax increase is 6.99 percent representing the increase in appraised value. These additional dollars are essential to catch up on deferred maintenance, cover additional costs and maintain the quality of our community.
Budgeting is taken very seriously by Staff and City Council and is basically a year round activity. The process begins in January with publication of the Budget Planning Calendar. In February, the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) forms are distributed. In March, the General Fund and CRA Sustainability Reports are presented to City Council and the CIP requests are due to the Finance Department. In April, the operating budget forms are distributed and a director’s budget meeting is conducted. May is very active with the draft of the CIP, Internal Service Fund, Special Revenue Fund, General Fund and the Enterprise Fund budgets due. The CIP budget is completed and sent to the printer and subsequently delivered to City Council. In June, the City Manager finalizes the budget recommendations; City Council has a workshop on the CIP and determines the maximum millage rate.
On July 1, Collier County Government certifies the taxable value, and by the end of July, a preliminary operating budget is delivered to City Council. The budget is then reviewed at a City Council workshop in August and approved in two meetings in September at 5:05 pm, along with the final millage rate.
The City’s revenue comes from taxes, approximately $30 million, licenses and permits, $7 million, Intergovernmental Revenue $6 million, charges for services $62 million, fines $600,000 and miscellaneous/transfers $16 million. The major expenditures are personnel services $44 million, operating expenses $43 million and capital expenditures $46 million.
SOME OF THE BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS ARE:
- Capital spending $46 million
- General Fund $32.9 million
- Water & Sewer $32.3 million • Development of Baker Park $15.1 million which includes $1.25million for the bridge connecting the Park to the new GordonRiver Greenway. City funding is $7,575,000 and $7,525,000 fromprivate donations.
- 72 certified police officers with a police department budget of$11.9 million• 64 Fire-Rescue staff $8.47 million
- Solid Waste $7.1 million of which $1.4 million goes to theCounty for the landfill
- Stormwater $6.7 million
- Health Insurance $5.3 million
The City has $35 million of debt which is very manageable for our revenue stream. The majority will be paid off by 2021 with only $6.8 million remaining from 2022 to 2027.
Overall, the City is in excellent condition financially. The staff provides City Council significant information to make decisions. The Finance Department has earned the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association for the 32nd year in a row and the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the 8th consecutive year. These awards attest to the quality, transparency and accuracy of the City’s numbers.
If after reviewing the budget, you have any questions, feel free to give me a call.
I am very excited about this opportunity to reach so many people in the community and encourage each of you to become involved with your local government as you deem appropriate. All ideas, suggestions or comments are welcome; please contact me by calling 239.248.1550 or send me an email at Jsorey@naplesgov.