The Shreveport City Charter requires that the 2019 operating budget be adopted on December 11, 2018.
Mayor Tyler introduced her proposed budget at the Council meeting on Tuesday. The Council was briefed with an Executive Summary of the budget consisting of a Power Point presentation featuring 43 slides.
The 543 page budget is accompanied by an 11 page introduction by Mayor Tyler.
The 2019 proposed operating budget, including debt service, is 12.4 million dollars over the 2018 budget of $488 million dollars. It is projected to have expenditures of $4.9 million dollars over revenues.
The difference in expenses over income will be funded by utilizing almost 60% of the estimated fund balance at December 31of this year.
The projected General Fund revenues for next year are 2.56% more than 2018.
The projected increase is based upon an assumption that sales tax revenue and EMS service income will increase. (Reimbursement for emergency services of $12 million is expected since Medicare and Medicaid will now pay for these services.)
These projections will leave an estimated operating reserve as of December 31, 2019 of $3.32 million dollars. The projected reserve fund balance is $8.25 million as of December 31 of this year.
Primary city services are supported by the General Fund. This includes police, fire, public works and parks and recreation. The General Fund derives its revenues from sales taxes and user taxes.
The Shreveport Police Department has 3% budget increase as does parks and recreation. The Shreveport Fire Department has a 4% increase.
The present Counsel is well experienced in the city budgetary process. Jeff Everson, Oliver Jenkins and Mike Corbin will be reviewing their 7th and last, operating budgets. All three are termed out and their service will end in December.
The other Council members - - Willie Bradford, Jerry Bowman, James Flurry and Stephanie Lynch approved the operating budgets for the last three years.
A public hearing on the budget is set for Tuesday November 13. Thereafter the Council will have detailed departmental review budget sessions on Friday, November 16 and Saturday, November 17.
It is anticipated that the Council will amend this budget to remove any anticipated deficit. Approval of the city operating budget is one of the most important council responsibilities.