Gardner’s budget has doubled in the last five years, according to information supplied by Matthew Wollf, finance director.
“The proposed 2022 budget includes adequate funding for infrastructure investment, staffing, and asset management in order to maintain vital public services as the community continues to grow,” Wolff said.
In 2021 Wollf lists the Budget Authority for Expenditures at $131,976,014 compared to $64,454,864 Budget Authority in 2017.
That’s an increase of $67,500,000 in the last five years.
The budget has increased due to cost, Wolff said. “The cost of doing business increases every year; this includes inflation, personnel costs, and asset replacement,” he said.
According to the CPI, the inflation rate rose about 5.6 percent last year.
City population increased from 20,868 to 23,287 in 2020 and budgeted positions increased by 13, from 146.5 in 2017 to 159.5 in 2022, Wollf said.
Under SB 13, the state’s Truth in Taxation law, Gardner has published notice in their official paper that they will exceed the county’s Revenue Neutral Rate of 19.278 and propose a mill rate of 20.165. Although staff had originally suggested 20.665, the city council gave direction to lower it at the Aug. 2 meeting.
There are often large changes in the total budget each year due to planned capital projects, grants, debt issuances, and debt refunding. That is why the 2021 budget is significantly higher than the 2022 budget, according to Wollf. The 2021 Budget Authority for Expenditures is $131,976,014 and the Proposed 2022 Budget Authority for Expenditures is $101,792,647.
All taxing agencies are required to hold a public hearing if they plan to exceed the revenue authority established by the county clerk.
According to Wolff, the hearing will be Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021, at 7 p.m. in the council chambers of City Hall, 120 E. Main Street, Gardner, Kan.
2015 Population = 20,868
2020 Population = 23,287
Budgeted Positions for 2017 = 146.5
Budgeted Positions for 2022 = 159.5
2017 Budget Auth. for Exp. = $64,454,864
2021 Budget Auth. for Exp = $131,976,014