As of last Monday night, the proposed Commerce budget for the upcoming fiscal year contains no utility rate increases and no tax hikes — and it’s balanced.
City manager Pete Pyrzenski walked the city council through the $20 million, 126-page budget one page at a time, pointing out major highlights and changes.
Among them are:
•the continued decline in revenue from the local option sales tax (LOST). The budget line item for 2013-14 projects income of $960,000, down 21 percent from 2011-12 because of the renegotiation of the distribution following the 2010 census.
•a savings of $263,840 in personnel costs.
•no increase — for the second year in a row — in the city’s cost for employee health insurance. Pyrzenski said he’d planned for a 12-percent increase, but that Commerce was one of two cities in Georgia not to experience a rate increase.
•$92,462 budgeted for merit-based salary increases beginning July 1.
•$2.56 million budgeted for capital expenditures.
•the addition of a “community improvement director.”
For the full story, see the May 8 issue of The Commerce News.