BACK IN ACTION: COUNCIL BULLETIN RETURNS FOR YEAR TWO
Welcome back to the Billings City Council Bulletin! Now that the 68th Legislative Session has concluded, we’re transitioning from the weekly update on legislative affairs to our newsletter all about Billings City Council. Just like the Legislative Update newsletter, you can expect the Billings City Council Bulletin to hit your inbox every Monday morning ahead of City Council’s evening meetings. In each newsletter you’ll find:
- A deep dive on an important topic of the week
- The City Council meeting agenda with hyperlinks
- Links to watch the City Council meetings
- Roster of City Council contact information
- Upcoming Billings Chamber events
- City Board/Commission Vacancies—GET INVOLVED!
CITY BUDGET SNAPSHOT
It’s that time of year for City Council to approve next year’s budget. Tonight is the final work session meeting before they vote on approval next week. The proposed FY24 budget includes $343 million in revenues and total expenditures of $380 million. City expenditures consist mostly of personal services (salaries, wages, and benefits) and operations and maintenance, accounting for 29% and 31% of the proposed budget respectively. A treemap of proposed revenues is below, showing 41% of city revenue comes from charges for service while property taxes provide about 20%. You can see the breakdown of each below.
The proposed budget also increases taxes on the median homeowner by approximately $100, even after the elimination of the Park District 1 assessment, a change made due to legislation that passed in the 2021 session. The bar chart below shows how proposed changes affect taxes and assessments on the median homeowner.
CPTED AMENDMENT One of the proposed amendments that will be discussed tonight is to earmark $120,000 of public safety mill levy funds for performing a crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) analysis on city properties. Many city staff attended the Basic CPTED training by the National Institute of Crime Prevention (NICP) two weeks ago in Billings. As part of the class, attendees engaged in a practical application exercise surveying city properties for potential CPTED improvements. The surveys highlighted numerous areas for improvements—likely far more than the city could afford to implement. However, the Billings Chamber would like to see the city move forward on some of the highest impact and most cost effective improvements—most often, lighting—to improve safety on city properties.