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City Council Highlights – FY17 Budget Adopted

At today’s Sparks City Council Budget Meeting, the City Council approved the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 (FY 17) budget.

Excluding contingencies and transfers, the Sparks General Fund budget consists of $61.8 million in total spending for FY 17, an increase of 6.9 percent from FY 16 current expectations, and requires no service reductions.

Total revenues are expected to increase 4.4 percent from the current fiscal year (FY 16) expectations.  Compared to FY 16, revenue from property taxes is expected to increase 1.6 percent in FY 17, and City license and permit revenues are expected to increase 2.8 percent.  Consolidated taxes (primarily sales taxes) are expected to increase 7.5 percent in FY 17.

The property tax revenue cap at 0.2% is creating challenges to grow city revenue in order to provide a level of service citizens expect.  In 2005, the Nevada Legislature passed a property tax cap equal to the greater of either the average annual percentage change of the prior 10-year assessed value growth rate within the county, or twice the amount of the rate of national inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index, up to 3 percent for residential and 8 percent for all other properties.  For the coming fiscal year, this calculation results in a property tax cap of a mere 0.2% for all properties within Washoe County.

The FY 17 budget for the City’s Redevelopment Areas 1 & 2 was also approved today.

The approved FY 17 budget document which will be submitted to the State Department of Taxation includes capital improvement activities can be found here.

Other Council action:

Community Assistance Center (CAC) – The Sparks City Council approved additional funding by doubling financial support for the CAC for a total amount of $264,000.  The CAC is a homeless shelter located in Downtown Reno, operated by Volunteers of America, and is made up of three shelters (Men’s, Women’s, and Family Shelter).  Regional partners include the Cities of Reno and Sparks, and Washoe County.

Sparks City Manager’s Annual Review – The Council awarded Sparks City Manager Steve Driscoll a four percent salary adjustment and extended his employment agreement through June 30, 2017.  Council had recommended a 2 percent salary adjustment in 2015 which Manager Driscoll declined citing that the City’s labor agreement had not been settled yet.

Mayor Martini stated, “I am really pleased that we have Steve Driscoll leading our City.  He has demonstrated that he can get things done.  We appreciate his public service and commitment to our residents.”

Proclamations – Mayor Martini issued the following proclamations:

Immigrant Heritage Month (June, 2016) – Acknowledges the often undervalued contributions immigrants play in providing the United States with unique social and cultural influence, enriching the extraordinary character of our nation.

Emergency Medical Services Week (May 15 to May 21, 2016) – Recognizes the quality emergency patient care provided by the Sparks Fire Department, REMSA and Care Flight crews and staff.