The Town is preparing the budget for fiscal year 2018, which begins on April 1, 2017 and ends March 31, 2018. The Budget and Finance Committee met on January 26 and February 16 to discuss the budget. The Town Council will hold a Public Hearing on the budget on Tuesday, March 14 at 10 am. The Budget & Finance Committee will meet again on Thursday, March 16 if needed and the Town Council is scheduled to vote to approve or modify the proposed budget at the Friday, March 17 Town Council meeting. The public is encouraged to attend these meetings.
The meetings of the Budget & Finance Committee included a review of the past year, proposed budgetary adjustments, and a review of current taxes and fees. The Committee focuses on the long term and makes recommendations with the goal of keeping the Town in good fiscal shape for many years in the future while keeping our taxes and fees as reasonable as possible.
The Town operates three separate funds; the General Fund, the Sanitation Fund and the Water fund. Each is budgeted separately.
The General Fund is the largest and uses revenue primarily from property taxes, parking fees, rental real estate taxes, and real estate transfer taxes to pay the main costs of town government. These costs include the Police Department, Public Works, Parking, and Beach Patrol.
In the proposed FY 2018 budget, General Fund revenue is increasing $355,000 (5.5%) from adjustments in revenue projections and the full effect of the rental tax increase, which was approved last March but did not take effect until after September. Operating costs are increasing $312,000 (5.7%).
The General Fund Capital and Debt budget consists of several projects totaling $518,000:
Sanitation Fund revenues are increasing $152,000 (18.4%) and the operating budget is increasing $32,000 (4.1%). Most of the revenue increase is from a roughly 18% increase to trash service rates, which should provide sufficient funding for at least the next five years. The trash rate for residential properties is increasing $50 to $330 per year. This fee is less than or comparable to what surrounding providers charge for pickup of trash, recycling and yard waste. Unlike most trash service providers, the Town does not charge extra for yard waste pickup. The current and proposed rates are as follows:
Type of Trash Fee
The Water Fund revenue budget is increasing $4,000 (0.3%) and the operating budget is increasing $45,000 (4.1%). The Water Fund Capital budget includes $50,000 for replacement of equipment if needed and $50,000 for unplanned repairs to the distribution system as needed.
Printed copies of the FY 2018 Proposed Budget are available for review in the Finance Office of Town Hall.