At the May 14 Sylva town board meeting, town Manager Paige Dowling made the formal budget submission to the board, as required by state statute. Below is the document Dowling presented.

 

• No tax increase is proposed. This budget maintains the current tax rate of .425 cents per $100 of property valuation.

• One penny on Sylva’s tax rate generates $42,350.

• This budget does not include fee increases in the General Fund.

• The Town’s proposed General Fund budget totals $4,162,129. This is an increase of $102,286 or 2.5 percent from the original 2019-20 budget, which totaled $4,059,843. (This figure includes grants and other proceeds.) This increase is attributed to purchasing more capital equipment than the prior budget and appropriating more from fund balance and capital reserves. The proposed budget includes two patrol cars and funds $30,000 for a legislative requirement to improve the zoning map and land use plan.

• Not including grants and other proceeds, the General Government budget totals $3,358,761; which is an increase of $7,000 or 0.2 percent from the FY 2019-20 General Government budget. This means that the Town’s General Government expenditures are almost the same as the prior year, but we have less revenue to cover those expenditures.

• The town is facing a significant revenue shortfall in the proposed FY 2020-21 budget due to the COVID-19 virus. “Globally, we are in a period of unprecedented economic uncertainty. The economic slowdown will affect local government cash flows, revenues, and budgets.”

• State sales tax revenues are projected to decrease 20 percent, these make up 20 percent of Sylva’s General Fund operating budget. Significant losses are anticipated from returns on investments.

• This proposed draft budget maintains the Town’s capital replacement schedule.

• This budget has been reduced “to meet imperative needs and utilize our existing revenue in the most fiscally responsible manner.” Reductions have been made in capital, equipment, and other expenditures wherever possible.

• This budget will allow the town to provide the same level of services to citizens, but does not fund most of the priorities the board outlined in the budget planning session due to the economic situation and the lack of revenue.

• The proposed draft budget appropriates $190,000 from fund balance to cover revenue shortfalls from state sales tax and loss on investments. The revenue will not cover expenditures and cuts were made to meet the current budget. This draft budget adheres to the Town of Sylva’s financial policy that the fund balance will not fall below 40 percent. With the adoption of the proposed budget the estimated available fund balance will be 74.21 percent.

• The Town staff have presented a balanced budget that maintains the existing level of high-quality services necessary to meet the Board’s vision and the Town of Sylva’s mission.

• The preparation of this budget report “would not have been possible without the dedicated efforts of the Town of Sylva employees and the support of the members of the Sylva Town Board of Commissioners.”