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Watch now: Normal begins budget process, hears debt restructuring plan | Politics

Uptown Station is at 11 Uptown Circle, Normal.

NORMAL — The Town Council during a daylong work session Tuesday got its first look at a $138 million proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning April 1.

The spending plan — a $2 million increase of the previous year’s budget — included projected long-term financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and a restructuring of the town’s debt program.

“This particular budget is going to generally be status quo based on what we know,” City Manager Pam Reece said Tuesday.

She added that while “there are still a lot of uncertainties,” town staff drafted a “conservative budget that we think still maintains the town’s financial strategies.”

Early on in the work session Finance Director Andrew Huhn broke down and said the town will finish the current fiscal year with a $2.8 million “self-imposed deficit.”

Normal experienced a significant drop in revenue due to the pandemic, which was offset by state grants and other expense savings, Huhn said.

The town expects to end the current fiscal year with a $6.05 million surplus, but plans to set that money aside, plus $2.85 million, for its debt program, and to balance the Vehicle Equipment Reserve fund in the outyears.

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