Sunset Valley considers $8.1M budget for FY 2014

The city of Sunset Valley plans to hold a public hearing on its proposed $8.1 million budget for fiscal year 2013–14 on Sept. 3.

The total proposed budget is up from the fiscal year 2012–13 approved budget of $6.88 million. The proposed general fund revenue is $4.6 million, up 8.05 percent from the 2012–13 budget, according to budget documents.

"This budget has been prepared with a comparison to the projections made in the long-range financial plan," Mayor Rose Cardona said in an Aug. 12 letter to citizens and City Council. "The comparison shows that revenue is projected to exceed the long-range projections, expenditures are below the long-range projections and the operating ratios are on target with the long-range projections."

Planned expenditures, changes

The property tax rate remains at zero, as most of the city's funding comes from sales tax. This has been the case in Sunset Valley since 1995, according to city documents.

In the coming fiscal year, most of the city's major operating fund expenditures are slated to increase compared with the adopted 2012–13 budget, including:

  • General fund expenditures, which make up the main operating budget, are $3.61 million, up 0.32 percent from 2012–13, according to budget documents. Similar to past years, the city's largest general fund expenditures are the police department ($988,713) and public works ($498,152), followed by contractual general government services ($482,850), according to budget documents. For the 2013–14 fiscal year, $4.37 million of the city's proposed $4.6 million total revenue comes from sales tax, with other sources including court revenue, permits and the city's mixed-beverage sales tax.
  • Expenditures from the street fund, which pays for street maintenance, street drainage, construction and repair projects, are $819,100 for the coming fiscal year, compared with $402,373 in 2012–13. The most expensive projects are on Lovegrass Lane ($221,613), Ernest Robles Way South ($187,722) and Yellowtail Cove ($101,127).
  • The green tax fund, which pays for development of a watershed protection and preservation program, has planned expenditures of $1.47 million, compared with $1.09 million in the adopted 2013 budget, with a 2013 year-end projection of $1.10 million. In 2009, the city acquired a 5-acre tract on Brodie Lane, but no other purchases have been made since then, according to budget documents.
  • The utility fund, which pays for water, wastewater and solid waste services, would see an expenditure of $1.61 million, compared with $1.24 million in 2013. Changes include paying for utility extensions.

Water and wastewater rates would rise an estimated 4 percent based on projected increases from the city of Austin, according to budget documents. Drainage utility fees are not slated to increase, and there would continue to be no charge for residential wastewater and solid waste services.

The public hearing is scheduled during the City Council meeting Sept. 3, which begins at 6 p.m. at Sunset Valley City Hall, 3205 Jones Road. Sunset Valley City Council is scheduled to consider adoption of the proposed budget at its regular meeting Sept. 17. For more information, visit www.sunsetvalley.org.