By Whitney M. Woodworth for The Arizona Republic
Peoria’s $511M proposed budget focuses on economic development, public safety and preserving the city’s stretches of Sonoran Desert and is nearly 9 percent larger than last year’s spending plan. But city officials said the plan would provide quality services while maintaining low taxes.
The Peoria City Council will vote June 2 on whether to tentatively adopt the Fiscal Year 2016 budget. If approved, the plan would receive a final vote June 16 for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The proposed budget includes a $136M general fund, which is the city’s main checking account that pays for day-to-day expenses.
The remainder of the overall budget would go for other operating expenses and capital-improvement projects, such as new roads and hiking trails.
Peoria has seen an increase in tax revenues, which Swenson attributed to improving consumer confidence and a recovering housing market. Strong auto, restaurant, construction-materials and retail sales are expected to increase sales-tax revenue by $1.3M annually over the next five years.
Although sales-tax rates and property-tax rates would not increase, Peoria residents would face modest hikes in utility rates. Water and wastewater rates would rise 2.5 percent this year, and another 2.6 percent in 2016. The city estimates that the average household’s monthly water and wastewater bill would increase by about $3.20.
As part of the improvement projects, the city would spend about $3.7M on a kids zone, additional seating and an event space at Peoria Sports Complex.
Read more at The Arizona Republic