Tuesday, May 20, 2014 | 9:23 p.m.
The Henderson City Council tonight approved a $483 million budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 that includes a $4.6 million transfer to cover an operating fund deficit.
The city hopes to close that deficit over the next year with an additional $5 million in cuts to its departments.
The city’s budget has been hampered by a steep drop in property and sales tax collections during the recession. Although the city council has trimmed staff and cut costs, it hasn’t been enough to right the city’s finances.
Last month the council approved fee increases and a reduction of hours at Henderson recreation centers to further trim the budget. The city is also curtailing senior services in a move officials estimate will generate about $2 million in savings and increased revenues.
The budget approved today does not include additional funding to cover the $17 million annual shortfall the city says it needs to keep up with repairs to its streets, parks and buildings.
City officials have discussed a 20-cent property tax increase that would raise Henderson’s rate to 91 cents per $100 in assessed value. The increase would cost the owner of a $175,000 home an additional $122 per year. It would generate about $16.5 million in extra tax revenues for the city per year.
A property tax increase would need voter approval. The city council hasn’t said yet whether it will move to put a measure on the ballot.