Mayor Tim Keller plans to announce his $1.1 billion fiscal year 2020 operating budget proposal Wednesday — one that would raise general fund spending to $642 million.
That’s 11.3 percent higher than the original 2019 general fund budget — and a one-time cash surge attributed to a change in city accounting policy will make much of it possible.
The fiscal year runs July 1 to June 30, but the city has traditionally applied June’s gross receipts and property tax revenue to the following fiscal year because it does not come in until August. But a policy shift will extend the window in which it can recognize that revenue —and the reset creates what Chief Financial Officer Sanjay Bhaka equated to a “13th month” and about $34.3 million.
“If we do this, we do create a wonderful piece of one-time money,” Keller said in a meeting earlier this week with Journal editors and reporters.
Keller’s budget — submitted earlier this week to the City Council, which must approve a final version by May 31 — puts $6 million of that one-time money into a fund to buy new police cars and applies $2 million each toward housing vouchers and the Local Economic Development Act fund.
Public safety accounts for about 47 percent of general fund spending in Keller’s proposal, with police representing the single largest share of any department at $205 million. That includes personnel costs for 1,053 sworn officers.