The Chandler City Council is reviewing a proposed $901 million budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year April 24—a 2.8% decrease from the current fiscal year.

The proposed budget, which has yet to be approved by council, was the subject of an all-day council study session April 24.

A property tax decrease of $0.008 per $100 assessed valuation is included in the budget. Residents may see a higher property tax bill due to about a 7% increase in home values.

At front of mind Friday was the impact of COVID-19 on the city and the city's budget.

"I am not going into this budget with blinders on,” City Manager Marsha Reed told the council.

COVID-19 implications on the city's budget

The proposed budget includes preliminary reductions related to projected losses due to COVID-19. Reed said the city will implement expenditure measures including: strategically holding vacant positions, holding travel and remaining training to the end of the calendar year, deferring fleet replacements, increasing scrutiny of all purchases and strategically prioritizing capital projects.

The city manager also proposed a quarterly review of actual data to analyze the need for potential additional reductions.

Management Services Director Dawn Lang told council that the current situation is not "business as usual."

The budget includes $20 million in revenue and expenditure reductions by reducing new and carryforward costs, while retaining service levels and implementing spending holds. Reductions are expected to continue through September 2020, Lang said.

The city's general fund revenue—which accounts for just over 40.7% of the city's overall revenue—is 8% lower than the city originally planned for.

Councilmember Terry Roe said the projected loss in revenue was "optimistic."

"This is a little rosier than I believe it will be," Roe said.

City officials also noted that some Capital Improvement Projects may need to be put on hold in the 2020-21 fiscal year due to economic impacts from the virus.

At the end of the session council thanked the city budget team for their work preparing the budget.

"It's easier to put a budget together when things are going well ... but this budget represents a continued tradition of what's best in Chandler," said Councilmember Matt Orlando. "We are delivering quality service at a value, and that's what this budget represents .... I think what it did today is give us the option to do things if we can do them. I feel very very comfortable with this budget."

Highlights from the budget can be viewed here.