Includes $2.65M for general fund, transfers $325,000 from utilities
MANTI—The Manti City Council has adopted a $2.65 million general fund budget and a $6.6 million budget for all operations (including the general fund plus utilities) for the fiscal year from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023.
At a meeting June 22, the council also increased water and power rates, adopted a transient room tax and adopted an approximately 1/3-cent local sales tax to be earmarked for streets and sidewalks.
The council also held a public hearing, but has not yet acted, on a proposal to raise the water impact fee, a fee charged when people build a new home or commercial building. The fee is designed to help pay for the additional infrastructure the new development will require.
At the June 22 meeting, the council transferred $325,000 ($250,000 from the electricity account and $75,000 from the sewer fund) to the general fund, the budget that covers general government activities ranging from the city offices, to streets, to parks and recreation.
Use of utility payments to subsidize city government is sometimes controversial. But Mayor Chuck Bigelow said cities all over the state do it. And Manti has an exceptional concentration of church and other tax-exempt properties that don’t pay property tax.
If the city didn’t do the utility fund transfers, he said, it would have to raise property taxes, “which would disproportionately affect non-exempt taxpayers.”
He said transfers from utility funds have been trending downward. Between 2013 and
2020, the average transfer was about $400,000. So the 2021-22 transfer is down about $75,000 from historical levels.
Looking more closely at the 2022-23 general fund, projected expenditures are up about 20 percent from the previous year. But that’s a comparison of one budget to the next. And budgets are just estimates of what the city expects to spend.
At the June 22 meeting, Bigelow said that when the city closed out last year’s budget based on actual expenditures up to that point, the new general-fund budget was up just 4 percent from the previous year.
Both last year’s and this year’s general fund budgets project surpluses. Notably, last year, the city projected that revenues would come in at $50,000 above expenditures, but this year, the city doubled that projected surplus to $100,000.
The biggest expenditure area is highways and streets, which accounts for 14 percent of the general fund. In recent years, the city has been systematically resurfacing roads throughout town. While developers must build roads in new subdivisions, the new development increases the total mileage the city must maintain.
The next biggest category was the city administration, which includes payroll for most city workers. That function accounts for nearly 12 percent of the general fund.
Public safety, primarily the city contract with the Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office for police coverage, accounts for about 11 percent of general-fund expenditures.
Waste collection, recreation (including the Sports Park) and city buildings (including the Old City Hall, City Building and City Complex) each take up about 10 percent of total expenditures.
Projected revenue in 2022- 23 from the water, sewer and electric utilities is up noticeably from the same figures for 2021- 22. The increases may partly reflect growth.
For example, the city is projecting $631,700 from water payments, up $185,300 from the previous year. The city is projecting $2.87 million from electricity sales, up $355,653 from the last fiscal year.