Beaufort City Council continued to explore cost and revenue expectations for next year during its Tuesday night meeting, including a discussion on how many services and projects the city can afford in the future.
Council members are considering a list of millions of dollars worth of projects they could authorize. Those projects were broken down Tuesday by the area of the city they are in. The projects come from the city's Civic Master Plan, and many would take multiple years to finish.
The 2014 fiscal year begins July 1, and the city must have a budget in place by then. Council has been discussing revenues and expenses with finance director Kathy Todd for the past month and a half and is currently focused on capital improvement projects such as road and sidewalk repair.
Todd said estimating costs is not perfect science and may not include all revenue and expenses.
With an expected decrease in property tax revenue, and the end of a special tax district that offset costs in the downtown district, council will need to take a hard look at what services it provides, how it pays for them and what improvement projects it wants to undertake in the future, Todd said.
"What is happening with revenues shrinking, decisions are going to have to be made on how we address the service delivery levels that have been established in the past," she said.
Council has previously discussed ways of increasing revenue, including additional fees and a penny sales tax, and Todd introduced the idea of special improvement districts Tuesday night.
A municipal improvement district typically involves the city taking out a bond to pay for projects.
A business improvement district typically involves an additional fee or tax on businesses in the area.
- Beaufort City Council considers capital projects for fiscal year 2014, March 26, 2013
- City of Beaufort discusses fees, penny sales tax options, March 19, 2013
- City of Beaufort residents could face tax increase next year, March 12, 2013