There’s still a lot of moving parts in Mayor Joe Ganim’s proposed $560 million budget as the Budget and Appropriations Committee prepares to vote on the spending plan on Saturday with a full City Council vote Monday or Tuesday night.
For one thing, the council will approve its own version of the budget before the state legislature puts the final touches on its budget for a scheduled special session next week. The city budget relies heavily on the state spending plan and city bean counters are trying to determine what will likely pass on the state level that won’t derail Ganim’s revenue guesstimates from the state.
The budget committee led by Scott Burns and Denese Taylor-Moye has spent the past month reviewing Ganim’s budget and meeting with department heads. There appears to be sentiment among council members to trim back Ganim’s proposed increase to public safety and infuse the flat-funded Board of Education with additional dough.
Meanwhile, the person who arguably knows more about the city budget than anyone on the planet, the recently retired Tom Sherwood, has been hired by a city union to provide advice on Ganim’s budget that seeks $5 million in union concessions.
After the full council votes on the budget, it goes back to Ganim for possible veto action. The council will set the mil rate in June for the budget year starting July 1 when the revaluation of taxable property kicks in. Ganim asserts that his budget adoption includes a tax cut for 60 percent of residential homeowners while others will experience an increase and some stay the same, with an expected higher tax shift to businesses.