Making sense of the city budget

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  • POST-BULLETIN www.PostBulletin.com SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2012 A5

    BackgroundPage edited by Mike Dougherty, mdougherty@postbulletin.com

    City tax rates, 2002-2011

    40%41%42%43%44%45%46%47%48%49%50%

    44.141%

    41.376%

    2002 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11

    Rochester Public Utilities 207 (up 3)Police department 164.5 (up 0.33)Fire department 104 (no change)Public works 87 (no change)Park and recreation 72 (up 0.58)General government 63.5 (up 1.5)Other public safety 57 (no change)Library 49.75 (no change)Sewer utility 39 (up 0.5)Miscellaneous 6 (no change)Storm water utility 5.79 (up 0.79)Parking administration 4 (no change)Total 859.54 (up 6.7)

    2000 2003 2006 2009 2011 2012

    754.70810 830.75

    864.25 852.84 859.54

    0

    200

    400

    600

    800

    1,000

    City employment (FTEs)

    Total: $162,411,666

    Total: $162,411,666

    Fines, forfeits and penalties$1,027,268 (0.6%)

    Licenses and permits$2,545,915 (1.6%)

    Prior year revenue$5,560,687 (3.4%)

    Other taxes$9,196,022 (5.7%)

    Intergovernmental$29,227,934 (18%)

    Miscellaneous$24,895,766 (15.3%)

    Charges for services$42,023,634 (25.8%)

    Tax levy andtax abatements

    $47,934,440 (29.5%)

    Internal service funds$2,661,378 (1.6%)

    Debt service$2,691,791 (1.7%)

    Storm water utility$3,453,403 (2.1%)

    Miscellaneous$3,819,813 (2.4%)

    Airport / customs$4,154,474 (2.6%)

    Unallocated /contingency

    $4,521,881 (2.8%)

    Parking$4,487,490 (2.8%)

    Other public safety$4,781,871 (2.9%)

    Transit$5,031,453 (3.1%)

    Library$6,188,141 (3.8%)

    General government$7,639,989 (4.7%)

    Public works(non-capital)

    $10,661,350 (6.6%)

    Park and recreation$13,469,854 (8.3%) Fire department

    $13,591,231 (8.4%)

    Policedepartments$20,434,579

    (12.6%)

    Sanitarysewer utility

    $24.459,361 (15.1%)

    Capitalimprovements

    $30,393,607 (18.7%)

    0

    Mills Properties Inc.

    RochesterDevelopment Inc.

    Maine Land LLC

    IRET Properties

    Thomson Reuters

    BGD5Properties

    IBM

    MEPC ApacheProperties

    Sunstone Properties

    Mayo Clinic $5,906,018

    $1,123,512

    $1,089,892

    $825,239

    $688,118

    $560,494

    $528,207

    $456,322

    $358,328

    $335,497

    $1,000,000

    $2,000,000

    $3,000,000

    $4,000,000

    $5,000,000

    $6,000,000

    8.85% of totalRochester taxes

    Top 10 Rochester taxpayers

    2000 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 120

    5

    10

    15

    20

    $25

    Library

    General government

    Park and rec

    Public works

    Fire

    Police

    City government fund, 2000-2012

    Your property tax bill might suggest otherwise, but Rochester actually reduced its budget by about $13 million for 2012.

    Its not as simple as that, though. Theres a lot more that to goes into the citys $162 million budget than just the $47.9 million tax levy.

    The city relies on service charges, license fees, sales taxes and state and federal grants, too.

    Next years budget cut is attributable to a $20 million

    reduction in the capital improvements budget. Capital projects are largely paid for with revenues other than property taxes.

    Perhaps a truer barometer of the cost of government is the operating budget. That piece of the budget is increasing by 2.4 percent, to $121 million.

    Employee compensation is budgeted to increase less than 2 percent next year. The costs of fuel, equipment and and other supplies are increasing by 5.5 percent.

    2000-2010 data consists of actual spending. 2011 data are budget figures. 2012 data are proposed budget figures.

    City unreserved fund balance

    0

    10%

    20%

    30%

    40%

    50%

    2003 2006 2008 2010

    34%

    42%

    35%

    40%

    0

    20,000,000

    30,000,000

    40,000,000

    $50,000,000

    0099989796959493929190 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12

    $47,934,440

    $10,561,106

    City tax levies, 1990-2012

    January through July

    State legislative changes are monitored and evaluated for local impact.

    June through August

    Finance Department issues instructions to city departments for preparation of the following years budget and capital improvements program, both due by the end of August. Each department prepares its own operating budget based on a combination of actual expenditures for the previous two years, the current years budget, and actual to-date figures for the current year. Each department also estimates revenues from its various user charges and fees.

    July through September

    Finance prepares estimates for employee service costs, utilities, insurance and other general costs.

    A request for information is sent to outside nonprofit agencies to submit their funding requests.

    Sept. 15

    Deadline for city to adopt preliminary tax levy. The final levy cannot exceed the preliminary levy.

    September through November

    City administrator reviews budget request information from each department and meets with each department head to discuss budget.

    December

    City council holds sessions reviewing overall city budget, department, by department. Truth-in-taxation hearings are held.

    Final budget must be adopted by Dec. 20.

    Graphics and design: Rick Dahl / rdahl@postbulletin.comResearch: Jeffrey Pietes / jpieters@postbulletin.com

    Where the money goes

    City revenue, 2012

    As a percentage of total expenditures*

    As a percentage of tax capacity

    2012 taxable tax capacity

    *Minnesota State Auditor recommentds a balance sufficient to cover five months of expenses, or 41.7%.

    Making sense of the city budget

    City government workforce, 2012

    This page is to help readers understand the budget process, what the trends have been and what the challenges are. To comment on this page, call 285-7748 or send an email to jpieters@postbulletin.com

    For links to related websites, go to

    PostBulletin.com

    City budget timeline

    (In millions of dollars)