WHY IT WON’T WORK FOR PG
City budgets are complex and tightly regulated by law. They function very differently from business or household budgets and are designed to be sustainable for the long term. That’s why Pleasant Grove has a full-time finance director, Denise Roy, an accountant with almost 30 years of local government experience. (Denise is one of many trusted professionals who makes decisions for Pleasant Grove.)
A lot of information about Pleasant Grove’s budget has been misrepresented and misinterpreted. To get the facts, we talked with Denise and Dean Lundell, PG’s finance director from 2010 to 2015. See below for answers to the most common questions about PG’s budget.
HOW DOES THE BUDGET WORK?
Municipal budgets are very complex and tightly regulated by law.
CAN’T ROADS BE FIXED BY CUTTING WASTE IN THE BUDGET?
Pleasant Grove already runs a lean budget. Last year the city went line-by-line through the budget and found almost $100,000 to add to the road budget. Compared to neighboring cities, PG has much less discretionary money per citizen because our sales tax revenue is much lower. That’s why we need city council members who will promote economic development and implement a road fee so the city can generate more revenue.
HOW WOULD PROP 3 AFFECT PG’S BUDGET?
Prop 3 would require the city to transfer $2.625 million every year from the General Fund to a roads-only fund. Removing 20% of the city’s discretionary budget would be devastating to the city’s ability to provide services to PG citizens. A city analysis determined that many services would have to be cut completely.
WHERE DOES THE MONEY FOR ROADS COME FROM?
Most PG road funding comes from gas taxes collected by the state of Utah. This is called “Class C” funding and is used for major road projects. Utah provides about $1.1 million to PG’s Class C fund. In 2017, the city will transfer an additional $325,000 to Class C from its general fund. This is in addition to the $600,000 budgeted for routine street maintenance. Future budgets will include even more city funding for roads.
HAS PG CHANGED ITS BUDGET TO PUT MORE MONEY TOWARDS ROADS?
The current city council has done more to direct money to roads than ever before. In 2017 they made budget cuts and put new revenue to roads totalling $325,000. In 2018 they directed an additional $100,000 to roads. Future budgets could direct even more new money, and in 2018 Pleasant Grove will make the final payment on its 10-year road bond. Freeing up an additional $750,000 for roads.