Yakima residents can comment on the city budget and a proposed 1% property tax rate increase during public meetings Tuesday.
The city’s proposed biennial budget uses $1.5 million in fund reserves in 2023 and $1.6 million in fund reserves in 2024. The general fund is forecast at about $71.8 million in revenue in 2023.
While the city’s historical fund balance is stabilized near 25% for 2021-22, the preliminary budget projects the fund balance degrading to 20.6% in 2023 and 17.9% in 2024. The city is required to meet at least 16.7% in the reserve.
Tuesday’s meeting is the first of two public meetings where residents can comment on the budget, which also addresses increasing costs because of inflation, public safety priorities and road repairs. The second meeting is scheduled for Nov. 15.
For the property tax levy, the city is allowed a 1% increase annually without going to voters.
The 2023 budget was developed assuming a 1% increase in the overall levy, according to a memo from Finance Director Jennifer Ferrer-Santa Ines.
Public meetings start at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 129 N. Second St., though the Yakima City Council meeting begins at 5:30 p.m.
The council will also review appointments to Sustainable Yakima, Bike and Pedestrian, Lodging Tax Advisory and Yakima Housing Authority committees and commissions, and consider an agreement with the Rotary Clubs of Yakima for additional lighting at Kiwanis, Chesterley and Randall parks.
To comment at the meeting, visit bit.ly/YHRcomment and fill out the comment request form. People also can email email@example.com or call 509-575-6060.
Remote watch options will be available at the city website.