After several meetings of deliberation, the Snoqualmie City Council has passed a biennial budget for 2019 and 2020.
Finance director Robert Hamud said developing the budget this year was different than previous years. The council first went through a goal setting process in the summer to make sure the work plan for the next two years fell in line with council priorities.
Hamud said the council passed a balanced budget for the biennium. In 2019, the budget lists expected revenue of $50,089,566 and expenditures of $58,469,250. In 2020, the revenue is expected to be $49,506,597 and expenditures are expected at $56,635,566.
The budget is balanced, Hamud said — despite expenditures being higher than the revenue — because of a $32.5 million revenue bond to fund projects in the Utilities Capital Improvement Plan issued in September. All of the revenue has come in at one time during 2018 and is spent over multiple years, he said.
The city council held 11 budget workshops since September . Hamud said the major theme of the 2019-2020 budget is ensuring the service levels of the city match the demand for the current size and expected growth.
New positions will be created to handle the increased workload, he said, including assistant city attorney and city planner positions, a capital improvement plan manager/contract administrator, and upgrading the human resources analyst and temporary receptionist to full-time positions.
Because Snoqualmie has a relatively small commercial sector and relies heavily on property taxes, Hamud said future development revenue also was taken into account for the two-year budget, citing the beginning of Salish expansion development and the expected completion of the hotel on The Ridge.
The budget also was altered when the council decided to reduce the property tax increase in 2019 from 1 percent to a half (.5) percent increase. The original budget was crafted with the full 1 percent assumed, so it had to tweaked to accommodate the change. The half-percent increase will increase the overall property tax total by $38,942 over 2017, instead of the originally proposed $77,885 of the 1 percent.
Due to the lower tax rat, a $200,000 enhancement for an affordable housing study was split across the two years of the biennium instead of receiving its full funding in 2019.
The council is planning to work on the its capital improvement plan in 2019, and will return to the budget for an annual review and modification process next year. The council can adjust the budget as needed for the second year.
For more information, visit www.ci.snoqualmie.wa.us.