After the city council withheld its approval of a temporary budget to fund local government through February, mayor Jose “Joey” Torres administration submitted a revised $275.8 million budget to the council during Thursday night’s emergency session.
The amount to be raised by taxation for municipal purposes has been reduced by $16.98 million, according to the revised budget document, to $157.3 million. The Torres administration initially submitted a budget that would have raised $174.29 million through taxes for municipal purposes.
The amount to be raised through taxes for municipal portion of the budget is still much higher than last fiscal year’s $145.93 million.
Overall the revised budget is for $275.8 million which includes municipal, school, county, open space, and library taxes. That number was $283.22 million before it was reduced by $7.4 million, according to city records.
Business administrator Nellie Pou said the larger overall amount includes more than $7 million in grant money that’s reflected in the budget.
Last fiscal year’s overall budget was $252.6 million, according to city records.
Pou said some council members wanted to see the final budget number for municipal spending before approving Tuesday’s temporary budget which is why the administration presented the amendments at the emergency meeting.
Council members said they received a letter from Kenneth Morris, councilman at-large, who serves as the chairman of the finance committee, to take caution when proceeding with the revised budget.
Morris letter was not available on Thursday night.
Council members said the budget did not go through the usual committee vetting process before it was presented to the broader council.
The council postponed a vote on the amendments and sent it for committee review. Pou worried that may delay the final budget approval resulting in yet another request for temporary appropriation next month.
Council members have shown a distaste for temporary spending measures by twice rejecting them. The most recent rejection was on Tuesday. The Torres administration reduced its request and was able to obtain a temporary budget on Thursday night.
The council each time rejected Torres’ temporary budgets citing increases in spending.
The business administrator said the administration has received word from the state government that it will receive little over $25 million in state aid. With the aid figure in hand the Torres administration is able to present a final budget to the council for a vote, she said.