2020 Birmingham budget

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The 2019-2020 Birmingham budget includes the operating budget for the City of Birmingham for the fiscal year July 1, 2019June 30, 2020 as well as a capital projects budget.

Mayor Randall Woodfin presented his proposed budget at a meeting of the Birmingham City Council on May 14, 2019. The Council approved the budget on July 23, 2019 by a 7-1 vote.

Woodfin's proposed budget

Woodfin proposed an operating budget of $451 million, an $11 million (2.4%) increase over the $440 million 2018-2019 budget which was approved for on June 19, 2018. The budget includes a projected increase of $6.5 million in revenues from taxes and fees.

Woodfin's budget included no cost of living increase for city employees, but did increase the city's contribution to its pension fund, which had been cited as a factor in the decision by Moody's and Fitch to downgrade the city's bond rating, by a $5.8 million.

The budget proposal steered two thirds of the $3 million in annual funding that had been given directly to Birmingham City Schools into the Birmingham Promise Initiative, a city-funded scholarship and workforce training program.

The budget proposal included $14.2 million for "Neighborhood Revitalization", including $8 million for street paving, $4.7 million for demolition and weed abatement, $1 million in funding for the Birmingham Land Bank Authority, and $300,000 for recycling programs. Funding for economic development incentives was increased by $1,000,000, with the mayor's office focused on recruiting grocery stores to underserved areas of the city.

For the second year in a row, Woodfin drastically cut city appropriations to non-profit organizations. The proposal included $362,896, down from $1,032,896 in 2019. Discretionary funds for each City Council representative were doubled to $100,000.

Public hearings

The mayor hosted a budget presentation for the public at the Birmingham CrossPlex at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, May 14. The City Council held their public hearings on the council chambers on Thursday, May 30 at 5:30 PM.

Steven Hoyt was the only member of the City Council to vote against the operating and capital budgets. John Hilliard was not present.

Shortfall

The loss of business activity and other revenues due to the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, combined with emergency expenditures and economic relief programs, led to an anticipated shortfall of $18.3 million in FY 2020, with revenue losses of around $73 million expected in 2021.

Birmingham received $9,029,329 from a $115 million CARES Act grant distributed by Jefferson County. The city applied most of those funds to overtime and hazard pay for various departments, and earmarked $1 million for the Birmingham Strong fund to support the city's small businesses.

References

External links