General Fund: Ad Valorem Revenue
The FY20 Ad Valorem/Property Tax budgeted amount is $47,367,287.
Based on the June 1st update from the Leon County Property Appraiser, the General Fund was projected to receive $47,367,287 in property tax. This represents a $93,698 increase in the estimate for FY20 since the June 5 City Commission workshop. However, as a part of those same estimates, the amount of the Tax Increment Funding that represents a pass through of property taxes to the two CRA’s, showed an increase of $429,032. This reflects a 22.6% and 17.8% annual increase respectively in the Greater Frenchtown and Downtown CRA’s.
General Fund: State Revenue Sharing
The FY20 Florida ½ Cent Sales Tax budgeted amount is $11,576402.
Florida Half Cent Sales Tax and State Revenues Sharing are two revenue streams that make up the largest of the City’s state revenue sources and that are primarily impacted by economic indicators. The Florida Office of Economic and Demographic Research issues updated revenue estimates during the year, with final estimates provided in July.
General Fund: Communications Service Tax
For FY20, the Communications Service Tax budgeted amount is $7,008,907.
As some tax sources experience modest growth, other revenue sources in the General Fund are not growing, or in the case of the Communications Service Tax (CST) CST, have declined. The CST was established to replace earlier franchise agreements directly between cities and telecom providers, which provided fees to government for right-of-way use, as well as allowing cities to negotiate service enhancements for citizens. Since this tax was authorized before cell phones were the standard for telephone use, CST collections have declined annually as more citizens eliminate their landlines.
Building Inspection Fund: Permitting Revenues
For FY20, the Building Inspections Fund is budgeted to receive $3,537,482 in revenue.
The Building Inspection Division operates as a separate enterprise fund which was established to account for all activities related to the enforcement of the city’s building inspection regulations. The fund is used for the enforcement and implementation of the Florida Building Code. Over the last several years, the fund has received more revenue than expenses and per State Law, these proceeds have been placed in the Building Inspections Operating Reserve Fund. These reserve funds can be used in the future to balance future Building Inspection Fund budgets and/or utilized to enhance the current service levels if needed to serve a multi-year trend of increased permit and inspections activities.
StarMetro Fund Revenues
The City has operated StarMetro, a public transit system, since December 1973. StarMetro provides fixed route and special transportation services under provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and serves as the Community Transportation Coordinator (CTC) for Leon County.
The proposed budget includes new revenue assumptions for Florida State University and the
repayment of loans starting in FY20 for the purchase of an entire electric fleet for these routes. StarMetro will also receive additional revenue from Tallahassee Community College for
students utilizing routes surrounding the campus through the, per semester U-Pass program.
Aviation Fund Revenues
The Aviation Fund supports operations at the Tallahassee International Airport (TLH) by the Aviation Department and the Police Airport Unit. The Fund also makes contributions to the Fire Fund for the Tallahassee Fire Department’s operations at the airport.
Passenger traffic, which has been steadily increasing, will continue to drive revenue in FY20. TLH’s passenger traffic in April 2019 saw a 4.2% increase over April 2018, and FY19 overall is 5.9% higher
than FY18 to date. Staff will also be looking to expand non-aeronautical revenue, including through commercial leasing.
Fire Fund Revenues
The FY20 total Fire Fund revenues are budgeted at $48,251,301. Established in 1902, the Tallahassee Fire Department (TFD) is a municipal fire department that provides fire suppression and emergency medical services in the City and the unincorporated areas of Leon County, Florida.
The FY20 budget will mark the fifth year of the current fire fee rate schedule. The interlocal agreement between Leon County and the City could be reviewed in FY20 regarding decisions to extend current fire fee rates, increase rates by a percentage or new study to determine new rates pending agreement from the City and County. That agreement also stipulates the split of Municipal Services Taxing Unit (MSTU) revenues between the City and the County as a revenue source to support EMS services County-wide, another critical revenue source for the Fire Fund.
Solid Waste Fund Rate Changes
A solid waste rate study was begun in FY 2019 and has now been finalized. The study was performed by the City’s long-time rate consultant, Leidos Engineering, LLC. The previous rate study was completed in 2016 and identified the need for rate increases beginning in FY 2018.
The study addresses the period covering fiscal years 2020 through 2023 and develops rates that will insure a sound financial footing for the solid waste utility. The fully allocated rate changes recommended in the study will result in an increase to the standard monthly residential garbage charge of $1.54 per month, from $18.37 to $19.91. Typical commercial customers who require 8 cubic yard dumpster service once each week will see an increase from $130.35 to $156.00 per month.
Click here to return to the FY2020 Online Budget Presentation.