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Snohomish’s budget built as conservative for 2021-2022 biennium

SNOHOMISH — Mayor John Kartak released the recommended 2021-2022 budget amounting to $65.4 million on Sept. 25. It was presented to the City Council during a budget overview workshop Oct. 6. The city has scheduled public hearings regarding the 2021-2022 budget for Nov. 3, and again on Nov. 17. The final adoption of the budget will take place following the hearing on Nov. 17.
“This 2021-2022 Mayor’s Budget is a conservative instrument that respects every taxpayer and ratepayer dollar,” Kartak said in the Mayor’s budget message. “This year has been both a joy and a challenge for us all. I am deeply appreciative of our City Council for all the time they have spent working with my staff and me during this budget’s development.”
The budget is comprised of 21 different funds and is expected to begin 2021 with a balance of $33 million. Projected 2021-2022 revenues amount to $52.4 million and budget expenditures total to $65.4 million. The city expects to end the two year budget period with a residual balance of  $20.1 million
The city’s general fund is projected to revenue $18.2 million for 2021-2022 a 2% decrease from 2019-2020. The general fund is the city’s operational fund for day-to-day costs, including for law enforcement, transportation, planning and parks.
Sales tax is the largest revenue source for the general fund, predicted to collect $8.8 million. The 2021-2022 budgeted utility and other tax revenues are projected to decrease slightly, as well as property tax revenues. Due to an increase in assessment values, the 2021 rate is anticipated to decrease from $0.75 per $1,000 of Assessed Valuation (AV) to $0.70 per $1,000 if the City Council adopts a levy amount including the allowed 1% increase.
General fund expenses are projected to increase by 3% compared to the 2019-2020 budget, reaching a total of $19.95 million for 2021-2022. Law enforcement and costs associated with the criminal justice system are the reason for the majority of the 3% increase. Jail fees, prosecution fees, public defense and 911 dispatch make up the criminal justice costs.
A small portion of the increase can be attributed to an increase in personnel costs due to higher benefit premiums and a 2% increase in costs of living adjustments in 2021 and 3% in 2022.
Snohomish services three utilities; water, wastewater and stormwater, the utility fund is separate from the general fund. Budgeted revenues for 2021-2022 utilities is $20.4 million, a 6% increase from 2019-2020. No rate increases for 2021-2022 have been budgeted.
Expenditures for the utility fund increased 28% because of a $15.88 million investment made for future wastewater capital improvement projects.
The city’s five main services make up 80% of the budgeted revenues as well as expenditures.
It was recommended the city continues to carefully review any new ongoing expenses that increase annual operating costs for the 2021-2022 budget.
An unfilled finance position was eliminated and it was also recommended no additional full-time staff positions be added.
The city sets its budget every two years. It began doing this in 2018.



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