City Adopts $134 Million Budget for 2020-21

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Tualatin commons.
Tualatin commons.

The City Council in late June approved a total budget of $134,022,565 for fiscal year 2020-21, which began on July 1. The new budget represents a 1.22 percent increase over last year’s adopted, amended budget. 

“As you probably can imagine, the preparation of this budget was a little bit complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Finance Director Don Hudson told city councilors on June 22 before they voted unanimously to adopt the budget. Nonetheless, Hudson said, the budget “maintains a positive fiscal health position and is fiscally prudent.”

In her annual budget message, City Manager Sherilyn Lombos described how the onset of the pandemic interrupted the budget process, forcing meetings to be postponed and then held virtually and requiring city staff to reevaluate fiscal assumptions as the state’s economy shut down.

“We had a balanced budget as we entered into the new reality we were facing,” she wrote. “As time passed, it became apparent that there would be revenue impacts going forward.”

To that end, city staff revisited and adjusted revenue projections. For several categories, previous revenue projections were decreased. Among them are fees based on utility usage, such as electricity, natural gas and water, which have been affected by business closures.

“We took the approach of estimating the revenue impacts if service levels and the economy were not beginning to return through the end of September 2020 – that’s what’s built into the budget you have before you this evening,” Hudson said at the June 22 meeting. “We will continue to monitor our revenue and expenditure impacts and we can adjust accordingly in the upcoming fiscal year.”

Also, he said, the city set aside $500,000 in reserves to offset any additional pandemic impacts not factored into the budget.

Property tax revenue is expected to increase based on a projected 4 percent growth in assessed value. And intergovernmental revenues – things like cigarette, liquor and marijuana taxes – are set to increase nearly 14.5 percent.

A look at Tualatin’s general fund

Many city services are paid for out of the general fund. Tualatin’s recently adopted budget includes a general fund of $34,760,845. The largest source of revenue for the general fund is property taxes, which are anticipated to generate about $10.7 million this fiscal year. Other revenue sources include franchise fees paid to the city by utilities, intergovernmental revenue and fines and forfeitures, among others.

Here’s a breakdown of how the general fund money is allocated for this fiscal year (excluding the unappropriated, contingency and reserve categories, which amount to a combined total of about $10.4 million).

  • Police: $8,404,415
  • Library: $2,341,780
  • Parks Maintenance: $2,004,165
  • Maintenance Services: $1,790,670
  • Non-Departmental: $1,512,665
  • Administration: $1,414,905
  • Information Systems: $1,371,820
  • Community Development: $1,265,000
  • Parks and Recreation: $1,256,575
  • Finance: $1,185,755
  • Engineering: $854,815
  • Municipal Court: $419,010
  • Legal: $382,445
  • City Council: $138,515

For more on the city budget, go to www.tualatinoregon.gov/finance.