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Budget Review
Spending up 4.6% but no tax increase

Marc Knapp and Warwick Jones

The City has released a draft of the 2013 budget. It is now being reviewed by Council members but we expect there will few and only modest changes at the First Reading on Wednesday, December 5.

As already announced, spending in the General Fund is projected to increase $6.3 million or 4.6% to $138.9 million. The increase reflects higher healthcare provisions ($1.3 million), Cost of Living provisions ($0.7 million) and IT Software ($0.8 million). Spending also rose in the Police and Fire Departments.

The City was able to lift spending with out a tax increase by virtue of higher anticipated property taxes (up $2.2 million) and business revenues (up $0.8 million). It was also helped by a larger surplus (up $0.45 million) carried over from the Enterprise Fund Budget

Viewers can see a summary of the General and Enterprise Funds by pressing Download file

A detail view of the General Fund Revenues can be seen by pressing Download file, of General Fund Expenditures by pressing Download file, and of the Enterprise Fund by pressing Download file.

Viewers may be interested to know that accounting requirements for states and municipalities are being reviewed at the national level. The review relates to the deficiencies in funding for pension liabilities. If these deficiencies are recognized and provision is required to rectify this deficiency, many municipalities will be facing difficulties. The City of Charleston's pension scheme is managed by the State. It is probable that in 2014 the deficiency in the City's funding will need to be disclosed. What is uncertain is what the City will be required to do about it.

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