EXPENDITURES AND REVENUES
Property Taxes: The 2010 budget includes stabilization in the mill levy at 25.886 mills for 2010. This is possible through the use of additional special sales tax dollars for "tax stabilization." The guidance staff uses in recommending a budgeted mill levy is derived from existing financial policies and prior City Commission direction. The Salina City Commission direction for a number of years has been to have staff always pursue other available strategies first, before looking to the property tax to cover revenue shortfalls or necessary expenditures. The City does not have a policy against increases in the mill levy when necessary, but has always been cautious in this area. Mill levy decisions result from a balancing of service requirements and community needs. Typically, an unchanged mill levy does not leave the City with stagnant revenues from that source due to moderate increases in assessed valuation of existing property. In a growing community such as Salina, new construction usually provides increase revenues from the same mill levy. In the 2010 budget is based on an overall decrease, due to a slight increase in value of new development and the offset by a decline in value of existing property and declines in the value of taxable personal property. The reduction of personal property value is a result of the statewide business machinery and equipment exemption. Due to the State of Kansas budget condition, the State legislature failed to fund the phased slider cost reimbursement, resulting in loss of approximately $292,000 in 2010 and by 2013 an annual loss in revenue in excess of $800,000. City Property Tax Levies Historical Local Property Tax Total Property Tax Levies
General Sales Tax: This revenue source is considered to be solid relative to regional swings in retail sales and a weakened consumer confidence, but must be monitored very closely during the year. One difficulty that has impacted the City of Salina's general sales tax revenue projections is the State's distribution formula for county-wide sales taxes. This formula "rewards" a local government which raises its property taxes at a rate higher than other local entities within the county. Conversely, the formula "penalizes" a local government which maintains its mill levy stable or lowers it when others within the county do not.
Special Sales Tax: In 2008, the voters approved a ten year, .40% Special Sales Tax. Funds are allocated to the Special Sales Tax - Capital Fund (with an allocation to the Special Sales Tax - Economic Development Fund). The marginal difference from this sales tax to the prior .25% sales tax is being used to fund the City's new aquatic park.
Expenditures: The 2010 budget anticipates cash expenditures of approximately $69,721,072. These estimates are reasonably conservative and based on a very cautious approach to expenditure projections. Year-end performance in the past has regularly been better than projected due to actual expenditures being held below the estimates.
Fund Balances: The City's strategic financial planning and management system includes "target balances" for 17 budgeted funds. Preserving adequate fund balances is a critical component for ensuring the City's financial stability. The fund balance ensure available cash flows, short-term funding for unexpected needs or shortfalls, and is critical to a healthy bond rating. Those funds that do not have designated target fund balances are used for revenue pass-through purposes.
General Obligation Bonds: The City expect a normal schedule of bond issuances.
Temporary Notes: Financing in 2010 will likely be special assessment projects. Notes are used as an affordable, short-term financing tool until capital projects are completed and can be bundled together for bond financing.
User Fees: Fees are reviewed annually and adjusted accordingly. These fees include, but not limited to: sanitation, solid waste, golf course, emergency medical services, water, and wastewater.