0916 city budget process

The City of Anacortes is returning to an annual budget process, abandoning the effort to project revenues and expenses for 24 months as it did in writing a two-year budget.

“The challenge (of) trying to project out more than 24 months from now what the economy is going to look like and trying to establish revenue projections for that time — it’s hard enough just trying to think of just six months down the road what it’s going to look like,” Finance Director Steve Hoglund said Monday.

“Ultimately, through some of the internal discussions we had, (we felt) this made the most sense to us to go ahead and revert back to an annual budget.”

The City Council unanimously agreed, saying an annual budget will enable the city to better respond to economic changes.

Work is now underway on the 2021 budget.

According to a budget calendar presented by Hoglund: City departments will turn in their preliminary budgets to the Finance Department on Friday. Mayor Laurie Gere will present her budget message to the City Council on Oct. 5. A public hearing on revenue sources is scheduled for Oct. 12, followed by council review of the budget on Oct. 12, 19 and 26. A public hearing on the budget is scheduled Oct. 26. The council will vote on a resolution setting the property tax for 2021 on Nov. 23, and will then vote on the 2021 budget.

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