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Reno City Council approves FY22 budget

By Carla O'Day

A $753 million budget for the upcoming 2022 fiscal year was approved Wednesday by the City Council and includes an increase in some fees, along with a few new positions.

Approximately 58% of Reno’s $264.5 million general fund revenue is derived from consolidated tax (33%) and from property taxes (25%). The budget reflects a 4.5% growth from the previous year in consolidated tax, along with property tax growth of 5.5% due to a strong housing market.

As part of the budget adoption preparation, city staff analyzed and updated the comprehensive list of charges for services, applying a 1.5% consumer price index increase to applicable fees.

“There is a structural deficit,” said Deborah Lauchner, city finance director. “Our revenues are less than our expenditures by about $2.8 million and we will be using some savings from the current fiscal year to cover that deficit.”

Twenty-one new positions are included in the 2022 budget and other one-time funds are included for items that include the digitization of historical records, fire turnouts, and a new digital platform for Reno Direct.

Examples of new positions and descriptions, according to the city, are as follows:

  • Mental health counselor – person will collaborate between police and mental health professionals to more effectively to respond to those experiencing mental health crises and to improve services to impacted segments of the community.
  • Criminalist – this will allow in-house capability to provide forensic analysis of crime scenes and to collect and evaluate evidence for appropriate and proper testing processes, which increase effective and efficient case resolution.
  • Forensic supervisor – supports police officers by providing the appropriate resources needed to respond to calls for service ensuring a more efficient and effective police department.
  • Ombudsman – the position will provide assistance and direction to community liaisons, allowing for better communication between council members and the community.
  • Parks maintenance workers – the positions will focus on janitorial duties within city parks.

In addition, funding to the special events overtime budget has been restored to the pre-pandemic level to ensure overtime reimbursement in support of the events scheduled for the upcoming fiscal year.

The budget is due to the Nevada Department of Taxation by June 1. The 2022 fiscal year is from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.

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