NORMAN — City council members are working to finalize a bare-bones budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.
In a study session Tuesday, council members struggled to cut a proposed $71.6 million general fund budget even more than they have trimmed it already.
The city's main operating expenses are paid out of the general fund. City Manager Steve Lewis's proposed operating budget is funded largely by sales tax collections. Lewis said he is basing his budget on a predicted 4.2 percent growth in sales tax revenue, based on historic growth patterns.
The total proposed budget for all city funds, which includes capital improvement project money and utilities revenue and expenditures, is about $225 million, an increase of $21 million over last year's budget of $204 million.
Lewis said the $225 million figure was “somewhat inflated due to anticipated costs for some major capital improvement projects.”
Finance Director Anthony Francisco said general fund revenue for fiscal year 2013-2014 is estimated at $68.7 million, while expenditures are estimated at $71.6 million. The difference between the two amounts will be taken out of the city's reserve fund, he said.
The reserve fund is a balance maintained in the general fund and is not the same as the city's rainy day fund, which will remain intact and, in fact, will increase because of an annual deposit that will be made into it, he said.