By Joe Reavis
The fiscal year 2015-’16 operating budget for the city of Wylie was filed Friday with the city secretary and is available for public viewing.
The budget can be viewed at the office of City Secretary, at Rita and Truett Smith Public Library and online at http://www.wylietexas.gov/departments/finance/docs/FY_2016_Proposed_Budget_Book_WEBSITE.pdf.
City council members have spent the past month pouring over budget figures and departmental requests before giving their approval to expenses and a property tax rate. The council was slated to vote Tuesday evening on the property tax and schedule public hearings on the levy.
The tax is proposed at 86.89 cents per $100 assessed property valuation, down a penny from the 2014 levy of 87.89 cents. The property tax will raise an estimated $18.7 million, $997,490 more in revenue than it did last year, of which $823,890 is attributed to new property added to tax rolls.
Other revenue sources are sales taxes, $4.5 million; franchise fees, $2.67 million; service fees, $3.23 million; and transfers from other funds, $2.05 million; licenses and permits, $746,000; intergovernmental revenue, $725,920; court fees, $660,832; and interest and miscellaneous income, $171,000.
The general fund portion of the budget pegs expenses next year at $34.7 million against revenue of $33.69 million. The shortfall is to be made up from unencumbered funds which have grown to $10.4 million, or 31 percent of annual expenses. The city tries to keep the unencumbered fund balance of 25 percent of expenses.
Included in budget numbers are three percent across-the-board pay increases for city employees, except for public safety employees who are compensated under a separate step plan that takes into account training and longevity. Also factored in is a 5.2 percent increase in hospitalization insurance premiums.
Wylie will increase its number of employees by 22, for a total of 308 next year. Additions are in the planning, parks, streets, police, facilities, purchasing, human relations, fire and 9-1-1 communications departments.
General fund expenses by department are city council, $90,796; city manager, $827,504; city secretary, $271,797; city attorney, $147,000; finance, $1.02 million; facilities, $725,793; municipal court, $361,420; human resources, $303,517; purchasing, $160,781; information technology, $1.25 million; animal control, $666,030; police, $8.35 million; fire, $7.15 million; emergency communications, $1.4 million; planning, $576,947; building inspections, $482,034; code enforcement, $233,740; streets, $2.36 million; parks, $2.4 million; and library, $1.75 million.
A separate part of the budget, but one that adds to the whole, is the utility fund under which city water and wastewater services are operated. Utility fund revenues are estimated at $13.59 million and expenses are $15.03 million, with the deficit made up from an unencumbered fund balance of $9.19 million.
Another separate fund, that receives revenues from a portion of sales taxes, is for Wylie Economic Development Corporation. The proposed budget shows revenue of $3.07 million and expenses of $4.28 million, the difference again being covered by unencumbered funds.
The Wylie budget is a long read, running to 173 pages this year.