Palmview amends previously approved budget

Right before their approved budget for the next fiscal year was set to begin, the city of Palmview lowered their budget to reflect revenues that fell short.

The budget amendment was approved Monday by city commissioners after City Manager Michael Leo informed the board that revenues for the previous fiscal year fell short, leading the 2019 budget to be decreased by $716,822.

City of Palmview Logo“Up until now we have been working off a projected budget revenues and expenses we were allocating for. Now we’re at the end of the year and we can actually see how much revenue came in and how much expenditures we have,” Leo informed the board. “Our revenues were short, projections on taxes didn’t come in as we projected and less money was collected from fees and fines, and that led to the shortfall of revenues.”

Last month, the city approved a nearly $6.7 million budget for their 2019-2020 fiscal year which included conservative revenue projections and a $140,000 contingency. With the amendment, the 2019 budget now stands at $5,993,362.

Despite revenues from the previous fiscal year being shorter than expected, Leo added that the city is expecting more than $2 million from the property tax rate and an additional $250,000 in court fines and costs collected from residents.

Leo also praised several departments such as the public works and fire departments, for not spending all their budget, saving the city more than $100,000.

Leo also provided an update on the police department’s suspended federal asset forfeiture program, which was suspended by the U.S. Department of Justice in April 2018 when the city self-reported improper spending by the police department.

As previously reported, City Attorney Eric Flores said last month that the Department of Justice and the U.S. Treasury Department suggested the city transfer roughly $250,000 from the general fund to the asset forfeiture account to reinstate it.

Leo said after the meeting that reinstatement for the program, which is now titled Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section Program, could take between four to six months as the city is still looking into where to find the $250,000.

“It’s still preliminary but we adopted our budget [earlier] with contingencies and reserve of over $200,000 we were able to identify, that could be an option to use,” Leo said. “We have other accounts but it’s a decision the council will have to make.”

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