Carson City supervisors managed to turn a $2.2 million deficit into about a $336,000 surplus in Monday's final budget hearing.
However, the surplus will result in a 4.2 cent property tax increase for land owners. The increase will raise property taxes from around $2.51 per $100 of property's assessed value to close to $2.55. That will cost $14.80 for a property owner with $100,000 of property.
Balancing the budget partially by pulling money from the city's capital improvement program, supervisors managed to find some funding for a list with over $1 million in requests.
Commonly called "Wheel of Fortune" night, departments from the public safety sector were the luckiest as supervisors approved funding for 1.5 sheriff deputies, a car for the deputies, 1/4 deputy for TRINET, 1 firefighter and $32,200 for firefighter training. Of the $336,145 surplus, almost $190,000 was spent on public safety requests.
The funding for the positions, however, is all one-shot funding, which means ongoing funding for the positions will have to be found in next year's budget.
"This is borrowing from the future," Mayor Ray Masayko said. "The more we borrow from one-shot funds, the more we have to find next year."
Sheriff Rod Banister told supervisors he would prefer to see the ongoing funding for his positions, but would take what he could get.
Community support to various local organizations tallied $48,500.
Supervisors balanced the budget by following most of the recommendations from the city's internal finance committee.
The committee recommended reducing the medical benefit subsidy from the city's general fund by $450,000 and reducing the subsidy to the city's capital improvement program by $514,000. Reorganization of five city departments into one titled Administrative Services would save around $200,000.
A 7 cent property tax increase had been proposed. Approximately 3 cents was to be used to fulfill the city's $264,000 commitment to the Western Nevada Regional Youth Center in Silver Springs. About $54,000 was saved from last year's $116,000 contribution to the center, so supervisors only had to find $210,000.
They opted to cut into the city's capital improvement program, delaying $150,000 of funding for the Juvenile Justice Center expansion, $81,000 for a new cemetery office, as well as slashing $100,000 from next year's $300,000 contingency fund and pulling $75,000 from their financial stabilization fund. The measures garnered $546,145, of which $210,000 was used to fund the youth center with the rest applied to the surplus requests.
But the budget could not have been balanced without the property tax increase, although it was the last place supervisors hoped to find extra money.
"I've looked everywhere to find continuing funding," Mayor Ray Masayko said. "I'm not going to hide on this one. If you pass on it, you can't reclaim it."
Supervisors unanimously approved the tax saying it was essential to not only this year's budget, but the coming year's as well.
"It's not as if we haven't looked," Supervisor Kay Bennett said. "Most of those taxes fund public safety. We're not adding anything, we're just keeping up."
Two items made the first cut list but were funded internally. The fire department offered to pay $6,600 in overtime pay for the health department and enough money was budgeted elsewhere to create a graphic information system in the information services department.