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City prepares to digest budget
"City departments have requested just enough to maintain operations and projects through 2001 in their preliminary budget requests to the Port Orchard City Council. But their supplemental budgets illuminate the direction the departments would like to go.Combined, the departments are requesting about $13.3 million from city coffers, leaving a balance of $5,060. Their supplemental budget requests exceed $645,000.The city council's finance committee currently is meeting with each department to review its budget requests. On Nov. 27, the council will discuss the budget and a final budget will be approved Dec. 4.City treasurer Kristine Tompkins told the city council last month that taxes provided the majority - about 86 percent - of the city budget, with sales tax revenue edging out property taxes by about 11 percent.Tompkins projected the portion of the city budget derived from taxes will inch up in 2001, from $3.6 million in 2000 to $3.8 million in 2001 - an approximately 7.5 percent increase.While property taxes seem to get all the press, the majority of tax revenue generated for the city of Port Orchard in 2000 came from sales taxes.Taxes in 2001 are again expected to provide the bulk of the budget, with sales tax providing about 45 percent and property tax another 34 percent.The other roughly 21 percent is generated through utilities fees and the courts.Port Orchard residents paid about $1.7 million in sales tax so far this year. Last year, residents paid a little more than $2 million and they will pay about $1.75 million in sales tax in 2001.The assessed valuation of property in Port Orchard is expected to increase slightly, from this year's $373 million to $388 million in 2001. The levy rate is expected to increase seven hundredths of a percent, from 3.30 to 3.37, with property taxes rising from $1.2 million in 2000 to a projected $1.3 million in 2001. While the city is expected to receive $65,000 in hotel/motel tax revenue, local agencies have requested $74,200.Agencies can request funds generated by the hotel/motel tax to fund events that promote tourism in Port Orchard.The Port Orchard Lodging Tax Advisory Board, recommended the council fund requests totalling $50,500 from several agencies.Most of the agencies requested lodging tax revenue to pay for continued advertising and promotion during 2001. Among them, Fathoms O' Fun, the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce and the Givens Center requested $6,900, $13,700 and $6,000, respectively. The Kitsap County Visitor and Convention Bureau requested $20,000 to continue airing radio advertisements promoting Kitsap County. "