Update: The City Council approved the FY20 Municipal Budget during its May 20, 2019 meeting.
The final FY20 budget includes the following changes from the City Manager's Recommended budget.
- an additional $50,000 for the Community Support Fund, an additional $45,000 to run the second overflow space for the Oxford Street Shelter, an additional $20,000 to support Cultivating Communities. These three amendments were approved by the Finance Committee and then passed at the full City Council.
- an additional $51,864 to the FY20 budget, which could support a new Maintenance Worker in Parks & Recreation to help support the pesticides ordinance.
- a subtraction of $38,000 to the City Clerk budget for the presidential primary election due to a change in state law.
- The Council approved raising the parking meters hourly rate from $1.50/hour to $1.75/hour in order to raise $500,000 in Parking Meters Revenue, and lower the tax rate increase from 4% to 3.7%.
The overall budget passed 8-1 (Councilor Cook opposed).
This results in a total City side mil rate of $11.62 (increase of 2.5%, lower than inflation) and a total school mil rate of $11.69. Overall combined mil rate of $23.31, which is a tax rate increase of 3.7%
The City Council’s Finance Committee is in the midst of reviewing the City Manager’s Recommended FY20 Municipal Budget. Upcoming Council and public review of the budget will take place at the following times:
Finance Committee Meetings All meetings are in Room 209 of City Hall at 5:30 PM
Tuesday, April 23; Wednesday, April 24; Thursday, May 2
City Council All meetings are held in Council Chambers at 5:30 PM
The City Council will hold a first read of the Recommended FY20 Budget during its Monday, May 6 meeting. Public comment will be taken. They will hold a workshop to discuss the budget on May 13. No public comment will be taken, but the public is welcome to attend. The second read and final public hearing will be held at the Council’s May 20 meeting.
Both Finance Committee and Council meetings are live-streamed at www.portlandmaine.gov/livestream and via Facebook Live.
About the Manager’s Recommended FY20 Budget
Portland City Manager Jon Jennings presented his recommended municipal budget for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20), which begins July 1, 2019, to the City Council at its April 8 meeting. The $263.4 million budget results in a 2.9% city-side property tax rate increase or $79 for an average homeowner with a $240,000 home. Despite some positive budget drivers, there were several city expenditures out of the City’s control that increased, and therefore the budget had to include a number of cuts in order to meet the Manager’s goal of delivering a budget with less than a 3% tax rate increase.
Some of the positive budget drivers include $85 million in new property valuation. While this may seem like a significant amount, it only results in an additional $985,000 in tax revenue for municipal use, and is only a 0.106% overall increase to our FY19 valuation of approximately $7.9 billion. This means it can only fund a fraction of the cost increases and built-in budget challenges in FY20, many of which are outside of the City’s control.
Reflecting on the budget process, City Manager Jon Jennings offered, “The goal of this budget was to bring forward a recommendation that allows us to continue moving forward on the progress we’ve made, but in a fiscally responsible way. Our staff goals for FY20 revolve around efficiency and innovation so we can further improve city services while reducing costs, emphasizing customer service, and fulfilling our commitment to getting things done on a timely basis. We must continue to take care of our infrastructure needs that were set aside for too long.”
He added, “I take my responsibilities to the Council and the taxpayers of the city very seriously. As we have discussed on many occasions, we are all concerned about the affordability of the city and government can be a driver of costs that make it unaffordable to live in Portland. That is why I felt it was important for us to limit the tax impact due to the drivers outlined in the budget.”
The City Manager’s complete FY20 recommended budget can be read online here.