The Twin Falls City Council and Twin Falls City Manager began reviewing the Recommended Budget for the FY 2021 fiscal year on Monday, July 6, and they will continue planning the budget for the coming fiscal year through Monday, Aug. 24. A final budget will be adopted and sent to Twin Falls County for certification on Monday, Aug. 24.
Citizens of the City of Twin Falls are encouraged to learn more about their city’s budget, and how it supports the goals and objectives defined in the community’s Strategic Plan.
The State of Idaho defines city government as a municipal corporation, so the recommended FY 2021 budget has been developed with that mindset. However, the City of Twin Falls developed the budget during a time of tremendous uncertainty.
City leadership is concerned about the long-term economic, health, psychological and societal effects that the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will have on the community and the City’s ability to provide public services. Equally, City leaders are concerned about the societal unrest occurring in many communities across the nation.
The FY 2021 budget has been created with following philosophies in mind:
• Create a nimble, agile, adaptable budget that allows the City to react in this dynamic, uncertain and ever-changing local economy;
• Develop a budget that is sensitive to our operating environment and local economic conditions;
• Connect all expenditures directly to the City’s 2030 Strategic Plan;
• Limit tax collections by considering not taking 3% and preserve the entirety of the $1,416,284 foregone balance;
• Minimize all utility rate increases;
• Place a high level of value on our employees.
The City of Twin Falls is a municipal corporation with more than 50,000 shareholders, 313 full-time employees and a taxable value of nearly $3.4 billion. The City’s taxable value excludes the taxable value of the properties located in the Twin Falls Urban Renewal Agency revenue allocation areas, which have a total value of $622.6 million.
Collectively, the taxable values for both the City of Twin Falls and Twin Falls Urban Renewal Agency totals $4.032 billion. To put these values into perspective, the City of Twin Falls’ taxable value in FY 2012 was just $2.152 billion.
Expenditures and Spending
The combined expenditures and transfers total $73.7 million, which is a 2.19 percent increase compared to the current FY 2020 budget of $72.1 million. Expenditures from funds that receive property tax or shared revenue will be reduced by more than $2.3 million to a total of $42.4 million. Other Non-Tax Supported Fund expenditures total $31.2 million, an increase of $3.8 million.
However, the City is using $3.027 million in the form of cash reserves to assist with covering the cost of significant, one-time capital improvement expenses, which include $1.8 million for the construction of a new water well, and $750,000 in Canyon Rim Trail and other Park improvements.
It’s important to note that net overall spending in the tax supported funds is $1.7 million, or 4 percent less than the current budget adopted for FY 2020. And earlier this year, the City made the decision to lower the tax rate by not assessing the statutorily allowed three percent (3%) property tax increase, nor the $1.4 million forgone balance.
City leadership believes this proposal has been carefully developed with full consideration of critical issues such as public safety, capital financing, economic development, and place making, while also understanding the unpredictability of COVID-19 and political unrest. The decisions that we make today will not only affect our work this year, but also impact future years and even future generations.
Citizens of the City of Twin Falls are encouraged to learn more about their City’s budget, and to provide input on the budget as it relates to the City Strategic Plan. More information about the budget is available on the City’s website at: tfid.org/161/City-Budget