A pay raise for all Rio Rancho city employees is included in the city manager’s recommended budget for fiscal year 2018.
The recommended budget, sent to the mayor’s office on April 15, mirrors many aspects of this year’s fiscal budget, including the city’s plans to set aside a majority of expenditures for fire and rescue and the police department.
The new budget year starts July 1 and ends June 30, 2018.
The mayor has until Tuesday to review the recommended budget and submit comments to the city manager.
The budget proposed by City Manager Keith Riesberg projects general fund revenues of $57.4 million and expenditures of $54.8, with revenues increasing from the current fiscal year by 1.6 percent and expenditures by 0.8 percent.
Although Riesberg said, “Signs suggest that the economy is continuing to recover,” the city’s revenue growth has not improved well enough to meet all of the city’s funding needs.
“Departmental needs continue to be more than can be addressed with current resources,” Riesberg noted in his budget recommendation.
The city’s budget includes a reduction of $820,000 due to the state’s 15-year phase-out of the “hold-harmless” gross receipts tax. This would be the third year of the hold-harmless phase-out, with the city previously seeing a $537,000 reduction in fiscal year 2017 and a $240,000 reduction in fiscal year 2016.
According to the proposed budget, gross receipts taxes are expected to make up a majority of the city’s revenue, comprising 51 percent of the total revenue. Property taxes follow at 27 percent, with franchise fees at 6 percent and other revenues at 16 percent.
Despite the city’s tight budget, Riesberg suggested a 2.4 percent salary increase for all city employees, at a cost of $827,900. The raise would be similar to the 1.5 percent salary increase for all city employees made in fiscal year 2017.
Expenditures included in the recommended budget are also similar to fiscal year 2017, with items including:
⋄ Six new police vehicles;
⋄ Communication towers upgrade;
⋄ Materials for paved roadways; and
⋄ Funding for the city’s American Disabilities Act transition plan.
The recommended budget will be reviewed by the governing body on May 2, May 3 and May 6 at City Hall.