CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Charleston City Council members got their first detailed look at the 2013-2014 city budget Tuesday evening, which, if they approve it, would bring in $3.1 million more than the city is expected to earn this fiscal year.
City Manager David Molgaard said much of the additional money comes from a revenue increase from business and occupation taxes of about $2.7 million. Council members approved $84.15 million for the current year's budget, which runs through June 30.
The $3.1 million in extra revenue would go toward paying a full year of wage increases estimated at $1.1 million. Those raises were granted in October.
Monday's proposed budget is separate from Mayor Danny Jones' announcement earlier Tuesday that he wanted to eliminate or reduce some business and occupation taxes and raise sales taxes to renovate the Charleston Civic Center.
Molgaard said that council has been working on next year's budget since before Christmas.
But news of the Civic Center renovations just came Tuesday.
A home-rule program that gives Charleston the latitude to take on expanded powers -- usually ones reserved for state government -- expires in July. To help the Civic Center, Jones said Charleston wanted to make their tax changes before the current home-rule program expires, in case a new program didn't give cities as much ability to change taxes.
Jones said that the proposed changes to help the Civic Center could generate more than $3.5 million a year.
Council members would need to approve both a proposed budget and any reduction/elimination of B&O taxes and an increased sales tax.
Molgaard said Tuesday night that if the city's proposals to help the Civic Center were approved, then any pending city budget would have to be amended.
Under the city budget proposed Tuesday night, Molgaard said health-care expenses would also cost $2.1 million, police and fire pensions would cost $0.4 million and Public Employees Retirement System payments would cost $0.2 million.
Reducing the city's outlay projects then offsets the $3.1 million, Molgaard said. The city reduced equipment purchases by $900,000 and are experiencing lower lease payments totaling $264,000. The proposed budget has no proposed salary increases or hidden costs built into it, he said.