Strained by debt in Trinity

May. 17, 2013 @ 07:38 PM

Trinity officials face two significant constraints in fashioning the city’s 2013-14 budget.
City Manager Debbie Hinson recently showed the City Council’s Finance Committee a draft of her recommended budget, which totals $4.4 million. The draft represents an increase of $219,106 over the size of the current spending plan.
The primary reason is an anticipated rise in the city’s debt-service payments associated with its sewer system from $851,521 to $1,064,584. Hinson said transfers of funds from other parts of the budget will also be needed if state lawmakers follow through with proposals to reduce funding to municipalities.
The council will review Hinson’s recommendations on May 28. It must adopt a new budget by July 1.
Hinson said she is recommending no change in the city’s current property tax rate of 10 cents per $100 of assessed value.
“The debt payment is the major ticket item where we had an increase,” she said. “We tried to decrease everything we could.”
She proposes reducing the salaries of Trinity’s six employees from a total of $156,000 to $146,000 and cutting the city work force’s total administration budget from $353,456 to $319,100.
Hinson said she reduced revenues by $261,861 in anticipation of proposed state legislation that would end a revenue stream for Trinity and other municipalities by repealing their ability to impose utility franchise taxes and business privilege license taxes.
The total potential loss for the city in the upcoming budget year is estimated at $544,861.
pkimbrough@hpe.com | 888-3531