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Scottsdale City Council to dissect FY 2024-25 budget tonight at City Hall

photo of Scottsdale City Council
A view of Scottsdale City Manager Jim Thompson at City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. (Photo: Arianna Grainey/DigitalFreePress)
Scottsdale City Council sees financial prospectus with 10% reduction in spending
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

Scottsdale’s proposed fiscal year 2024-25 operating budget and capital improvement plan has been released for review as Scottsdale City Council is set to discuss the budget tonight at 5 p.m. during its regularly scheduled April 16 meeting.

Scottsdale City Council meets 5 p.m. today at City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. Tentative budget adoption is scheduled May 14 and final budget adoption June 4, according to a press release.

“This balanced and fiscally sound budget provides our citizens with a great return on their tax dollars by funding core services and community priorities, including the first phase of city ambulance services,” Scottsdale City Manager Jim Thompson said in a prepared statement.

While revenue growth remains strong, the city’s proposed fiscal year 2024/25 budget is a 10% decrease from the current fiscal year, reflecting expected declines in residential rental tax and state-shared revenues, continued inflation and a slowdown in consumer spending.

Officials at City Hall tell the Digital Free Press municipal leaders will focus expenditures on the city’s workforce, inflationary increases impacting capital projects, and other City Council and citizen priorities.

Here is a breakdown of anticipated items part of the proposed FY 2024-25 operating budget and CIP:

Scottsdale’s workforce

The General Fund supports implementing recommendations of a comprehensive classification and compensation study and benefits adjustments to fund the city’s high-performance workforce. Hiring and retaining a skilled workforce is crucial to providing quality service to citizens and visitors.
While increasing staff is proposed, the majority of these new positions are critical to public safety and will staff a newly-constructed fire station and support Scottsdale’s new ambulance transportation operations.

Community investments

The operating budget provides money for significant community investments including one-time funding to purchase new American for Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant bleachers for signature events at WestWorld; up-fitting Fire Department vehicles; and training and certification for Fire Department specialty areas.

Capital improvement plan

The proposed budget also addresses a continued rise in materials and labor costs impacting capital construction projects. The proposed capital improvement plan budget for FY 2024/25 is $1.09 billion including contingencies. Projects funded in the next year, officials at City Hall say, will address critical capital infrastructure needs in a variety of areas and are supported by different funding sources.

General Fund revenues

General Fund revenues are estimated to increase by a modest $5 million from the adopted FY 2023/24 budget. That total projected increase comes from several different sources, including ambulance transportation services; additional primary property tax collections; and from building permit fees and charges.

These increases offset a projected $12.8 million decrease in the city’s proportionate slices of state-shared income tax, sales tax, and vehicle license fees, primarily due to the state’s switch to a flat income tax rate model, officials at City Hall say.

The city’s proposed FY 2024-25 primary property tax rate, which funds services like police and fire protection and parks, is $0.4951 per $100 of a property’s assessed value. Its secondary tax rate, which helps pay down city debt, is $0.3597 per $100.

Scottsdale’s sales tax rate is 1.75% for most business activities. The city uses these revenues to finance various city services including police, fire, parks, libraries and streets. The combined sales tax rate in Scottsdale (8.05%) is one of the lowest among Valley cities.

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