Financial forecast opens city’s budgeting season

Early projections reflect the $3 million loss in sales tax from the Cascade/Benson Hill annexation.

It’s the beginning of budgeting season for the city of Renton.

City staff have early projections for the next biennium, which reflects the $3 million loss in sales tax from the Cascade/Benson Hill annexation. However staff predicts the city can manage without increasing any taxes.

Financial manager Kari Roller presented the city’s financial forecast at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting and said the numbers are initial projects and are expected to change as the budget process continues for the rest of the year.

For 2019, projections show $100.1 million in revenue, $103.4 million in expenditure with an operating deficit of $3.3 million and an ending fund balance of $30 million.

Roller said these numbers are initial estimates and are based on “worst case scenarios.”

“(The projections for) 2019 is probably higher than it needs to be but we’re working on fine tuning those numbers,” she said.

When city staff was preparing the current biennium budget in 2016, Roller said the impending Benson Hill annexation was on their minds. Staff contemplated increasing the B&O tax to offset the loss of $3 million per year in sales tax.

“The good news is we don’t have to do that,” Roller said.

She said it would be an issue the city would have to keep a close eye on in the coming years.

Mayor Denis Law is set to present the budget message and preliminary budget to the City Council on Oct. 1.

Prior to Law presenting the budget to council, the Mayor’s Budget Advisory Committee is set to meet multiple times during the month of June to cook up a list of recommendations.

The city is required to hold three public hearings for the budget process. The first one was held during Monday City Council meeting. No comments or objections were raised. The second public hearing is scheduled during the Oct. 22 council meeting, and the third one at the Nov. 5 council meeting.

Following Law’s presentation of the budget, city departments will present their proposed budgets at the Committee of the Whole on Oct. 22. Council is expected to deliberate and adopt a committee report on Nov. 5.

The final reading and voting of all budget-related legislation is slated for Nov. 19.

More in News

File photo
$30 car tab proposal returns to ballot in November

Tim Eyman-led initiative would restrict car tabs and transportation benefit districts in Washington.

File photo
King County alcohol production ordinance could be approved by year’s end

Update to county code has been more than a year in the making.

Bring Fido and a can of food to support local animal shelters

“You Lucky Dog!” is more than an expression, it’s an event in… Continue reading

Renton Schools Foundation to host gala

To celebrate 10 years and welcome a new executive director, the Renton… Continue reading

Carol Ann Witschi
Witschi’s seat to stay vacant till election

Renton City Council has decided to leave councilmember Carol Ann Witschi’s seat… Continue reading

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Faith-Maria, a third grader at St. Anthony Elementary School in Renton, asked Make-a-Wish to share her wish with her school, which resulted in two new smart boards. Faith-Maria with her family at the unveiling, Sept. 12.
A selfless wish for Renton schools

Faith-Maria Nguyen uses Make-A-Wish to provide school a smart board

Photo by Haley Ausbun. RESP union members attended the Sept. 11 Renton School Board meeting to make their story heard as they continue to negotiate for a new contract with the district.
Union leader: ‘Give us what we deserve’

Update: Paraprofessionals and staff have reached a tentative agreement with the Renton School District

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Photo left to right: David Rodriguez, Tony Ventrella, Rachel Chronister, Marla Veliz, Reagan Dunn, and Gavin Hunt at the Sept. 10 ribbon cutting for the New Horizon School van, gifted by King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn through the retired van program.
County van to increase New Horizon’s inclusivity

A vehicle gifted to a school for students with learning disabilities will support outreach

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Tiffany Park Elementary School teachers and parents hold up signs before the Sept. 11 Renton School Board meeting, over the loss of a fourth grade classroom that reorganized the fourth and fifth graders at the school.
Teacher changes shake up parents’ confidence in Renton schools

A quick staffing change and classroom switch has parents questioning Renton School District

Most Read