Mayor Hickenlooper Announces 2004 Budget Changes
New Revenues Lead to Restoration of Service Reductions
(DENVER) One week before Mayor John Hickenlooper will submit his final 2004 budget to City Council, he announced during Tuesday’s Mayor-Council meeting that $14.5 million in additional one-time revenues have enabled the City to restore some of the programs previously slated for reduction in 2004, while still maintaining the 2003 ending fund balance at 10% of expenditures that is critical to the City’s bond rating.
“The City’s tax amnesty program and aggressive tax auditing have fortunately borne fruit,” Hickenlooper said. “While I am pleased that we have been able to restore some vital services that were clear community priorities, these one-time revenue increases will not fix our systemic and ongoing budget problems. We must continue to be vigilant about controlling costs throughout the coming year.”
The additional revenues will be used in 2004 to restore some of the programs originally slated for reduction that have emerged as high priorities in recent budget discussions with City Council and the community. These include:
- High School Resource Officers - Thirteen officers will continue to serve in the Denver Public Schools. Denver Public Schools will participate in funding this program.
- Payments to the Elderly - We are restoring this program to the full amount of $1,700,000.
- Neighborhood Inspection Services - We will fund three Neighborhood Inspectors, previously scheduled to be eliminated in 2004, in addition to one clerical position to administer the new administrative citation program.
- Development Services - We have restored Plan Review Engineers and Building Inspectors based on the recent projections of commercial and housing building activity in 2004.
- Mounted Horse Patrol - We will staff the Mounted Horse Patrol within the existing resources of the Police Patrol Division.
- Community Recreation Programs - We are restoring the after-school programs, Summer in the Park, and Summer Scholars programs to their current levels.
- Outdoor Recreation Programs - We are restoring the Adventure Program to its current level.
Overall, the revised revenue estimate for 2003 has increased by $14.5 million in one-time revenues. This includes:
- $8,000,000 in sales taxes due to higher than anticipated one-time audit collections
- $1,500,000 in sales tax collections based on year-to-date collections
- $100,000 in other taxes
- $1,400,000 in one-time transfers from the Capital Improvement Fund
- $1,500,000 in one-time reimbursements from Wastewater Management
- $2,000,000 in fines and permit fees
The increased revenue has allowed the City to reduce the expected agency budget savings in 2003 by $10.7 million from $18 million to $7 million. In addition, the increased revenue has allowed the City to increase the fund balance by $3.8 million over the 10% reserve amount, which will be used in 2004 for the services outlined above.
Mayor Hickenlooper will submit his final budget to City Council on Monday, October 20, 2003. City Council will hold a public hearing on the budget on Monday, October 27, 2003. If City Council wants to amend the proposed budget, they must do so with a majority vote of the Council by November 3, 2003. If this occurs, the Mayor then has the ability to accept or reject the Council’s amendments by Friday, November 7, 2003. Council may override the Mayor’s rejection of any proposed amendments by a vote of at least two-thirds of its members by November 10, 2003. If the City Council fails to adopt a budget by November 10, the Mayor’s proposed budget, with any amendments enacted by a two-thirds vote of the Council members, becomes the official budget. City Council must enact the final 2004 budget as ordinance by November 24, 2003, thus making appropriations for the ensuing fiscal year.
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