This story originally ran in the June 16 issue of the Community Voice. For your own subscription, call 270-384-9454
The city of Columbia is enjoying a growing budget as revenue sources continue to increase, with the current fiscal year expected to end with a carryover of more than $3.78 million.
The budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year, which ends June 30, was amended last week to reflect an expected carryover of more than $2.955 million in revenue combined in the general fund, payroll tax and alcohol sales revenue categories. The remaining carryover comes from the gas department, at $552,000; garbage, at $241,455, and LGEA funds, at $37,668.
The council heard first reading on a budget for the upcoming year, which includes a 5 percent pay increase for employees. Prior to Mayor Pam Hoots taking office, the council voted separately on any pay increases prior to establishing the budget. For the past two years, pay increases were included in the budget without a prior vote.
The 2021-22 budget was amended to reflect $1.23 million collected in payroll tax and $160,000 in alcohol sales tax revenue. It also reflects $1.2 million in licenses and permits, another $1.2 million in intergovernmental revenue, and $592,481 from property taxes. The proposed budget for 2022-23 reflects similar revenue expectations with total revenue – which includes the garbage and gas departments – at $6.78 million. The year-end projection shows an ending carryover of $3.8 million.
The largest expenditure for the city’s general fund is the police department, with a $1.54 million budget. A total of $340,000 is allocated for parks and recreation, $488,700 for streets, $142,700 for fire, and $750,000 for general government.
The garbage department started the 2021-22 fiscal year with a $275,000 carryover and is expected to end with a $241,455 carryover. For the upcoming fiscal year, the city projects the department will increase its end-of-year balance to $364,500.
The gas department started the current fiscal year with almost $500,000 in carryover and is ending the year with $552,800. For 2022-23, the city projects the ending balance to increase to $681,400.