July 15, 2022
Pocatello For Accountable Government Entities has posted another update about the City of Pocatello’s budget discussions. Their social media post reads,
It’s Christmas in July, Pocatello!
Well, not quite. Taxpayers got “a bit” of a reprieve today (07/14/22) at the City Council Work Session when Council voted (4-2) to cut the proposed “tax ask” increase in the draft budget by the 1% foregone* for O&M (Operations & Materials).
Given that the FY23 budget cycle “tax ask” increase started at a record-breaking 7% “tax ask” increase, was dropped to 4% (3% base increase + 1% foregone) last week and now sits @ 3% — that’s far better than we had anticipated or hoped for this budget cycle.
To create a balanced budget, reductions of $325,642 from the proposed FY23 O&M expenditures in the General Fund will be necessary, along with offsets for a $91,647 increase—a new expense added today for a 5% modifier increase to boost the Workers Comp Fund balance.
These O&M “reduction” decisions were deferred to the Mayor and Departments to find by next week’s meeting so that Council can move forward with publishing the budget for public review. It’ll be interesting to see their creativity.
It’s a full 3% increase over last year’s “tax ask”, but it could have been a lot worse. Gotta celebrate these tiny victories as they are few and far between.
*Foregone monies are tax amounts that “could have been levied” in prior years (when the city takes less than the full 3% annual increase allowed by the State.) These “left-on-the-table” amounts are tracked annually and summed for potential “rainy-day” use in future years.