BENSON — The city of Benson’s budget for fiscal year 2021-22 was adopted by the mayor and council during a special meeting on June 24.
“The city’s $25,248,440 budget is $3,820,427 more than last year,” said Benson City Manager Vicki Vivian. “This is primarily due to the utility funds’ budget increases because of their carry forward balances, some changes to our Capital Improvement Plan and the inclusion of the American Rescue Plan Act funding. The budget will continue to be monitored closely throughout the year to ensure departments fall within the approved budget and staff will continue to be diligent in reducing expenses when possible.”
A summary of the city’s revenues by fund shows the largest percentage of revenues fall within the General Fund at $8.44 million, or 32% of the budget. The General Fund has the largest number of departments and those funds can be used for any municipal purpose. Local taxes make up the General Fund’s largest revenue category at $5.78 million, or 58% of its total. This category includes local sales and bed taxes, as well as property and franchise taxes. Other revenue categories include state shared revenues at $1.50 million and carry-forward funds of $1.46 million.
The Utility Fund is the city’s second largest revenue source. This fund includes gas, water, wastewater and sanitation and makes up $7.4 million or 28% of the total budget. Next is the Grants Fund which makes up $4.32 million or 16% of the budget, followed by Capital Projects with $13.13 million, or 12%.
When it comes to General Fund expenditures, personnel costs — to include such benefits as Social Security, Medicare, retirement, insurance and workman’s compensation insurance — represent the fund’s biggest component. The police department has the largest budget in the General Fund at $2.73 million or 28% of the budget. The next largest budget is a combination of 10 departments that comprise 27% of the budget.
Vivian provided highlights of the 2021-22 personnel budget, which include the following:
Market salary adjustments for sworn and administrative personnel in the police department in the amount of 5% and other city departments in the amount of 3%;
No cost of living adjustment;
No merit increases;
A 2.5% increase in employee health insurance;
Increases in Arizona State Retirement System and Public Safety Personnel Retirement System contribution rates;
There are no significant changes in employee benefits
“I take pride in the work the mayor and council and staff put into the budget process and am looking forward to the new fiscal year and to achieving the goals set therein,” Vivian said.