Tacoma City Council hears financial status report

Financial information presented to Tacoma City Council during its April 24 study session indicated few surprises. The council heard a status report on final 2011 figures for general fund revenues and expenditures and reviewed figures for the first quarter of 2012.

Finance Director Bob Biles delivered the report. Overall, it contained favorable variances for both categories.

The 2011 adopted budget had $194,949,000 in general fund revenues, with the preliminary figures coming it at $190,705,000. The approved budget had the fund spending $195,497,200, with the preliminary figures at $197,293,900

Projected revenue for the general fund for the first quarter was $37,609,900 with the actually amount at $38,656,100, meaning the city pulled in $1.04 million more than expected. The biggest contributor was licenses and permits coming in at $874,500 above projections.

Biles said there was concern the general fund might have to subsidize operations for Tacoma Dome and Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, but that will not be the case. He credited staff at the facilities for making adjustments each quarter based on the number of upcoming events.

“The economy remains a concern,” Biles said. “No surprise there.”

City Manager T.C. Broadnax said staff and council will discuss budget matters in more detail during a special meeting in May. He said residents will be able to offer feedback on the budget through the city’s website and at drop boxes in library branches. The timeline he offered calls for public meetings around the city on the budget in October and November. “I look forward to a very engaged process,” he said.

Mayor Marilyn Strickland said this would open the dialogue to people who may not be able to get to city hall easily or be there when the council meets.

Councilmember Anders Ibsen said he would prefer to hold such meetings earlier in the process, such as June or July.

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