San Angelo City Council members will work on the budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year during their July 10 meeting.
Summary:After saving a projected $480,000 via an exclusive provider arrangement with Community Medical Center, council didn't touch on health insurance during their June 19 meeting.
Detailed discussion of needs such as street maintenance, raises, property tax relief, etc. In order to fund these needs, we will discuss options such as increased user fees, franchise fees, hotel occupancy tax, etc.
Council plans for the coming year by comparing numbers to this year's budget, not actual figures with projections to year end. They effectively guess the coming year by looking at this year's guess, omitting the accuracy of the current guess.
As the city never revised the health insurance budget for the EPO savings, an estimated $480,000 is available to fund health insurance increases. For years the city effectively provided no increases in its health insurance budget. When increases came employees paid more than the city. Likewise, when savings arose the city took the lion's share. I expect that trend to continue.
The City is willing to spend new money, just not on health insurance. Evidence is the Master Developer request for qualification. It identified a number of money pots, varying from direct cash incentives to tax rebates to tax abatement. It will be interesting to see Council's health insurance and master developer decisions.