CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Charleston's proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year is projected to increase by 3.7 percent, or around $3.14 million, City Finance Director Joe Estep announced Tuesday.
Council members got their first look at budget projections for the upcoming fiscal year at Tuesday's meeting. Estep announced that the budget should increase from $84.1 million during this fiscal year to $87.3 million.
An increase in business and occupation tax will make up the majority of new revenue, Estep said.
He anticipates the B&O revenue to increase by about $2.7 million over the $41.2 million budgeted for the current fiscal year.
"The business and occupation tax numbers continue to show strong growth," Estep said.
In fact, the city has received $2 million more in B&O this fiscal year than it did during the same months last fiscal year, he said.
"Our B&O numbers have been consistently strong all year long," Estep said. "And that indicates people are spending more money."
However, Estep also projects the city will see an increase in expenditures. In fact the increased expenses will eat up more than the increase in B&O revenue, he said.
Increased expenditures include $3.8 million in "personal services." This will include $2.1 million in health care costs and $1.1 million for raises for city employees granted in October.
"But we have no 3 percent across-the-board raises built into next year's budget," City Manager David Molgaard said.
The city is also reducing the amount of money spent on capital outlay by $1.2 million in the upcoming fiscal year, Molgaard said.
During the upcoming fiscal year, the city will not have to purchase numerous pieces of equipment that were already obtained during the current fiscal year, he said.
Revenue from hotel/motel tax is also projected to increase from $2.7 million budgeted for the current fiscal year to $3.6 million.