Port Angeles City Council to hold public hearings on budget, property tax

Officials proposed to take allowed 1 percent property tax increase in 2020

PORT ANGELES — City Council members will hold a pair of public hearings today on the proposed city budget and an ordinance levying property tax collections in 2020.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the City Council chambers at City Hall, 321 E. Fifth St. The public hearings will begin at 6:30 p.m. or shortly thereafter.

City officials have proposed to take the allowed 1 percent property tax increase next year.

A 1 percent increase in property tax collection has an estimated value of $46,400, according to a memo to the council.

Property tax is the city’s largest source of revenue for general services.

Total property tax collection for 2020 is estimated to be $4.7 million.

The proposed 2020 city budget is balanced at $129.4 million, Finance Director Sarina Carrizosa said in a memo.

“Achieving a balanced budget for 2020 was possible by focusing on council goals and budget initiatives,” Carrizosa said.

“In addition, the city manager directed that staff focus on developing a sustainable budget that the city could afford going into 2020 and beyond while maintaining the city’s assets, continuing to build the city infrastructure and accomplishing council-driven goals outlined in the strategic plan.”

Carrizosa said the budget includes $12.9 million for capital projects, new and increasing revenue sources and minor utility rate increases as outlined in a recent cost of service analysis.

The proposed general fund budget shows $20.5 million in revenue and $21.6 million in expenses. The general fund reserve is projected to have an ending balance of $5.3 million heading into 2021.

“To further the development of a sustainable budget beyond 2020, the city will continue the strategic planning process, including long-range financial planning that will occur in spring of 2020,” Carrizosa said.

“This process will help to lay out a roadmap to define the programs and services with affordable options to provide these services to the citizens of our community.”

Capital projects budgeted for next year include the resurfacing of Peabody Street, City Pier railing repairs, continued funding for public restrooms, the first phase of Race Street reconstruction, a new Dream Playground, emergency management pod construction and $16.5 million for utilities.

A final 2020 budget is expected to be adopted by the council after a second reading of the budget ordinance Dec. 3.

The adopted budget for 2019 was $115.4 million. The general fund budget for this year was $20 million.

The proposed 2020 budget has been available for public review since Oct. 22.

It is available on the city’s website, www.cityofpa.us.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

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