City Council Unanimously Approves 2018 General Fund Budget

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Toledo City Council unanimously approved the 2018 general fund budget today – the first time since 2013 the city’s annual spending plan has been approved without objection.

The amended 2018 general fund budget was created by a joint budget task force consisting of council and the Kapszukiewicz administration.

The vast majority of the 2018 general fund budget – 66.7 percent – is dedicated to funding police, fire, courts, and safety administration.

“By working hand in hand with council, we have produced a budget that is fiscally prudent but also meets the service and public safety needs of our city,” Mayor Kapszukiewicz said. “We still face some serious budget challenges on the horizon, but there is no question that we are moving in the right direction. This budget shows we are making the tough choices to protect the interests of the people.”

Mayor Kapszukiewicz said the general fund budget frees up millions for road repair and infrastructure. The Kapszukiewicz administration plans to spend $8.75 million rebuilding and repaving residential streets this year.

“It is my goal to have the capital budget completed and approved in the next month, but the tough decisions and belt-tightening we made today frees up millions for road repair and infrastructure,” he said.

The general fund budget reduced the transfer of capital improvement money to the general fund and shifts more federal Community Development Block Grant money that can be used for neighborhood projects.

The operating transfer from the capital improvement fund to the general fund is $2.1 million – a $3.1 million decrease from the proposed 2018 budget presented to council in November 2017 and an $8.9 million decrease from the 2017 budget approved by council in March 2017.

The approved 2018 budget slashed expenditures from the previously-proposed $258.22 million to $255.2 million – a $3,010,550 decrease.

The budget includes the following revenues changes that increase operating revenues by $130,000 from the previously-proposed 2018 spending plan:

  • A $100,000 increase in casino revenues to $5.8 million.
  • A $100,000 increase in building inspection revenues based on 2017 collections and anticipated development starting in 2018, including the Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. project.
  • A $55,000 increase in plan commission revenue based on 2017 revenue and proposed fee increases.
  • A $125,000 reduction in cable franchise fees.

The city’s 2.25 percent income tax is expected to generate $178 million in 2018 – a $1.6 million increase over 2017 collections. Property taxes are predicted to generate $12 million.

Intergovernmental services are predicted to generate $17.2 million. That includes $7.4 million local government money and the $5.8 million from casino revenue. Charges for services are expected to total $29.9 million. That figure includes $11.8 million for solid waste and recycling collection, $6.9 million for advanced and basic ambulance revenue, and $2.7 million for cable franchise fees.

The 2018 budget includes the following spending changes compared to the previously-proposed 2018 spending plan:

  • A $241,173 reduction by moving the next police recruit class to July 27, rather than early July.
  • A $1,039,890 reduction by delaying the next firefighter class to 2019.
  • A $658,624 reduction in healthcare costs.
  • A $807,693 reduction by delaying filling vacant positions.
  • A $575,140 increase for city council, the mayor’s office, and the law department budgets for more staff.
  • A $86,625 reduction in spending for the police corporal stipends due to retirements that reduced 2018 expenditures.
  • A $300,000 reduction in the Toledo Municipal Court judges budget.
  • A $250,000 reduction in district improvement grant spending.
  • A $150,000 reduction in criminal justice costs for jail services.
  • A $144,398 reduction in municipal garage charges from salary savings in the city’s fleet operations.
  • A $20,000 reduction in postage costs for the taxation division.
  • An additional $65,649 will pay for economic development positions with general fund money rather than CDBG funding during the second half of 2018.
  • A $40,000 increase for the economic development department budget to pay for professional services.
  • A $10,000 increase in spending for an annual Ohio Municipal League membership.

General fund spending this year will include $111.6 million for base salaries and wages for 1,708 fulltime equivalent positions – a $945,580 decrease from the budget proposed in November. Overtime is expected to be $5.4 million, which includes $2.8 million for police and $2.4 million for fire. Fringe benefits and stipends will cost $52.2 million; salary savings and reimbursements will cost $2 million; supplies and services will cost $3.3 million, and contractual and internal service charges will cost $42.8 million.

The general fund debt obligation for closed landfills in 2018 will be $700,000.

Operating transfers total $39 million, under the proposed budget.

Mayor Kapszukiewicz also plans to ask council to amend other funds that will include across-the-board healthcare and municipal garage savings.