The Pasco City Council got its first look Tuesday at a preliminary budget for 2013 that maintains service levels and adds a few more staff positions.
The proposed spending plan totals $133.4 million, including an almost $42 million general fund that pays for day-to-day government operations such as police and parks.
The city manager described the budget as generally status quo with some enhancements.
The council spent about 11/2 hours Tuesday on the spending plan during the workshop session.
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Community members will be able to provide input at a public hearing in early December. The council must adopt a budget by year's end.
The preliminary general fund of $41.8 million is down about 1 percent over this year's amount.
City officials are forecasting a $100,000 drop in retail sales-tax -- the single biggest general fund revenue source -- after adjusting for the new public safety sales-tax approved by Franklin County voters in 2011, the preliminary budget says.
The city also has seen a decline in municipal court fines and interest earnings, as well as in revenues it shares with the state, such as liquor excise taxes, the budget says.
Utility tax revenue is expected to grow by about $50,000 in 2013 and property tax revenue is projected to rise by $200,000 due largely to new construction, the preliminary budget says.
City officials aren't proposing a hike in utility rates or taxes; the property tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value would drop slightly under the preliminary budget.
Franklin County's largest city has experienced significant growth over the last decade, but "the last two to three years, that's been slowing down" City Manager Gary Crutchfield told the council Tuesday. That means less of a strain on services in the community but also means a slow-down in revenue growth, he said.
The preliminary budget includes adding two firefighters largely through a reduction in overtime costs the last two years. It also restores a code enforcement position eliminated in 2009 and adds two information services positions.
And it reflects four police officer positions authorized this year to start a street crimes unit, the budget says. The funding comes from the public safety sales-tax money.