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Financially 'stable' Tualatin looks at modestly higher budget

As revenue growth outstrips spending increases, proposed budget up 4.74% from fiscal year 2015-16.

COURTESY OF THE CITY OF TUALATIN - The cover of the 2016-17 proposed budget for the city of Tualatin.The financial position of the city of Tualatin is stable, the city's budget committee heard May 9 as it held its first meeting of the year.

Finance Director Don Hudson and City Manager Sherilyn Lombos pointed to the city's sound finances as they introduced the proposed budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year, which will begin July 1.

Tualatin's proposed budget includes a 4.74 percent increase over last year's adopted budget. But Hudson said revenue has increased at a greater rate than expenditures, rising by 5.97 percent as expenditures — excluding reserve and contingency funds and inter-fund transfers, he noted — are only up by 1.29 percent.

“We're very fortunate here that our revenues are staying stable,” Hudson said.

City departments were given the premise this year in putting together their budget proposals that they should try to maintain their current levels of service while finding savings where possible.

The total amount of this year's proposed city budget is $82.7 million, up from the $79 million budget adopted for the fiscal year 2015-16.

The budget could be approved as soon as May 31, when the budget committee is scheduled to meet next.

Hudson said Tualatin is anticipating its expenses related to Public Employees Retirement System contributions to increase sharply in the fiscal year 2017-18, but he noted that the city has reserve funds set aside to absorb the increase.

“Speaking of reserves, we have strong reserves,” he added.

Fewer capital project expenditures are anticipated in the proposed budget than there were in Tualatin this year, Hudson noted. One major project, the Tualatin River Greenway Trail between the Tualatin Public Library — where the committee held its meeting May 9 — and the former RV Park of Portland, was officially completed earlier this year.

By Mark Miller
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