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City of Boise Proposed FY 2018 Budget: $217.8M

"You might compare this to an early morning economics class in college."

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Buried deep inside the 283-page Fiscal Year 2018 City of Boise annual budget is a copy of a lithograph, circa 1890, when the city of Trees had just been officially named as the capital of Idaho. The rest of the document, though, details a general fund operating budget of $217.8 million—a 4.4 percent increase over the current year—for FY 2018, which begins Sunday, Oct. 1

"You might compare this to an early morning economics class in college," said City of Boise Chief of Staff Jade Riley to members of the Boise City Council who gaveled in the June 27 marathon budget session at 8:30 a.m.

While the proposed budget was packed with enough ledger sheets and pie charts to make an economist's head spin, there were a few key numbers worth noting:

• 4.8 percent—The property tax increase proposed for FY 2018, which comprises a 3 percent base increase as allowed by state statute and an additional 1.8 percent factored in for new construction and annexation.

• 16 percent—The budgeted increase of parking revenues based on changes to the parking rate structure.

• 3.8 percent—The budgeted increase of personnel expenses for FY 2018, which comprises base salary increases of 2 percent and 1.25 percent for one-time compensation for non-union workers.

• 8.5—The addition of full time-equivalent employees added to the city payroll, resulting in a total workforce of 1,725.7 FTE.

• 32 cents—The amount from every tax dollar spent on police services.

• 25 cents—The amount from every tax dollar spent on fire services.

• 13 cents—The amount from every tax dollar spent on parks and recreation.

The budget process is a long one. The Boise City Council is required to hold a full public hearing on the FY 2018 spending plan in July. Then, lawmakers will hear three readings of the budget in separate meetings set for July and August. Finally, in late August, the city council is expected to hold its final vote on the budget, in preparation for its Oct. 1 enactment.

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