The city of Brentwood held a public meeting May 14 for its fiscal year 2020-21, showing projections for the upcoming year amid dramatic economic changes in the last few months.
The budget, which is slated to be adopted by the Brentwood City Commission in June, includes projected revenue totaling more than $40.7 million, a 1.1% increase over the previous year, according to preliminary budget documents. While the city is expecting decreases in hotel occupancy tax revenue and state sales tax contributions, it is still projecting a 5.3% increase in local sales tax revenue, totaling about $16 million.
City Manager Kirk Bednar said while planning for a sales tax increase may seem counterintuitive at a time when there is a lot of uncertainty around employment and business operations, the city projects sales tax revenue will still be up over last year as it includes additional monies from a previously passed half-cent sales tax increase.
“While the city has traditionally taken a very conservative approach to budgeting, the uncertain times we find ourselves in today dictate that the proposed FY 2020-21 budget be even more conservative than normal,” Bednar said in a letter to city commissioners.
While Bednar said the budget is balanced, the city is expected to make some cuts to avoid any potential shortfalls should the economy not bounce back as expected.
Initial budget planning allocated a 4%-4.5% salary increase for city employees; however, given the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus’s effects on the economy, the city has opted not to include raises during FY 2020-21. Bednar noted in budget documents the city could reassess the raises midyear should the economy recover quicker than expected. The city also eliminated a proposed new position for its technology department.