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  • By Lisa Brody

2019-2020 budget approved for Birmingham

Birmingham city commissioners on Monday, May 20, unanimously approved the 2019-2020 annual budget of $86.2 million, representing a decrease of $2 million, or two percent, from fiscal year 2018-2019, which was $88.2 million. The city's fiscal year begins July 1 and runs through June 30 each year. Commissioners had reviewed the budget at a workshop on Saturday, May 11, during which department heads presented recommendations to address current and future community needs while balancing service demands and long-term capital requirements. Over the past three fiscal years, the city's taxable value has grown by 5.5 percent in 2016-2017; 5.2 percent in 2017-2018; and 6.3 percent in 2018-2019. The budget for 2019-2020 includes a 5.8 percent increase in taxable value with a projected 3.9 increase in 2020-2021, as “the future of the state and southeast Michigan economy looks uncertain as the U.S. auto makers announced plans earlier this year to limit or cease production of internal combustion cars and concentrate on electric vehicles, SUV’s and trucks,” the budget document stated. Key anticipated expenditures are $14.4 million for public safety; $8.3 million for engineering and public services; $8.3 million for highways and streets; and $6 million for general government costs. The city is looking at street reconstruction projects, including the Maple Road reconstruction project beginning spring 2020. Key anticipated revenues are $36 million in taxes; $26.5 million in charges for services; $6.7 million for contributions and transfers in; and $5.2 million for intergovernmental revenue. The millage was approved at 14.3584 mills, inclusive of city of Birmingham property taxes, Birmingham Public School taxes, state education taxes and Oakland County program taxes. Pension legacy contributions are projected to increase by $332,030, or 17 percent, for fiscal year 2019-2020 and $238,530, or 10 percent, for fiscal year 2020-2021. Retiree health care contributions are projected to remain approximately the same for 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 at $2.9 million, and the city is contributing approximately $1 million more per year than the actuarially calculated contribution based on the valuation that was performed at June 30, 2018. Commissioners approved the budget, 6-0, with commissioner Andy Harris absent.

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