No staff or pay cuts in lean Bee Cave city budget

(Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
(Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

(Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

Despite a projected 10% decrease in sales tax revenue—which accounts for nearly all of Bee Cave’s total revenue—no staff or pay reductions are in the proposed 2020-21 city budget, according to staff.

The $10,045,423 budget, which was discussed at the Aug. 11 Bee Cave City Council meeting, will be revisited at the Aug. 25 meeting before a probable vote at the Sept. 8 meeting, according to city staff.

To address the anticipated drop in sales tax revenue, City Manager Clint Garza said the proposed budget reflects a 6% decrease in expenditures from the current 2019-20 budget.

The biggest cut came in in the proposed capital outlay budget, which dropped from its current total of $399,000 to $49,500 for the next fiscal year.

“We’re taking on no capital improvement projects next year,” Garza told Community Impact Newspaper.

The city estimates it will receive $8,545,785 in total revenue—$6,750,000 from sales tax revenue. The total revenue projection reflects an 11% drop from the current fiscal year. The $1,499,638 proposed budget deficit would be covered by the city’s reserve fund, which is a rainy day fund that by city law must maintain a balance large enough to fund the city for nine months, Garza said.

According to Garza, the reserve funds may not be needed in 2020-21. The 2019-20 budget earmarked $1,034,633 in reserve funds to balance the budget, but the city has so far been able to balance the budget without using the reserve fund, according to Garza.

The biggest increase in expenditures came under salary and benefits, which increased $325,476, or 7%, to $4,707,996. Garza cited the hiring of an assistant city manager, insurance cost increases, merit increases and recently established longevity pay, which rewards long-time employees, for most of the increase.

Chapter 380 payments marked another large expenditure, according to city documents. The payments, used to spur economic development and made to the Shops at Galleria, will total $1,487,250 in the proposed budget. The final Chapter 380 payment will occur in 2023, according to Garza.

The police department made three funding requests that are currently not included in the budget: one patrol unit—$60,000, six body camera systems—$9,482—and an iMac Pro—$5,000.

The 2020-21 fiscal year begins Oct. 1.