The city's finances continue to grow with its footprint, but in a less drastic way than in recent years.
For Tega Cay, which has added land and a developing retail component through annexation, next year's budget will likely include more than $5 million for expenses.
The city council began a series of budget workshop meetings last week to go over the annual spending plan, which has been growing about $1 million each year. The coming budget will likely see a smaller increase as most of the residential development in the city has slowed.
Stonecrest, the city's first commercial development, won't hit the city tax rolls until next year because property taxes are collected one year in arrears, and with development just getting underway in Gardendale, homes sold in that development won't begin to hit the tax rolls until two years from now.
"It's up about $200,000 over last year," City Manager Grant Duffield said. "Continued development, new homes reaching the rolls from last year is the biggest driver."
Duffield said the increased revenue will translate to small increases in departmental budgets across the city. However, he doesn't foresee any tax increase next year. Likewise, there probably won't be any new staff added in the coming year, either.
The council has as many as three more workshops scheduled, the next of which is set for 5:30 p.m. Monday, June 30, at City Hall.
In addition to the general fund budget, the council is also working through budget plans for the Beach and Swim Center, the Tega Cay Utility Department and a new Stormwater Utility Department.
Last Wednesday, the council read through a $181,000 budget for the Beach and Swim Center, an increase of almost $30,000. The city expects to see more revenue in all categories - concession sales, memberships, club rentals, guest passes and "other revenue."
Participation in the city's recreation department programs alone has grown by 25 percent in less than a decade (see related story on page 1B).
Work still to be completed includes reviewing expenses for the general fund, and revenues and expenses for TCUD and the Stormwater Department. Duffield said he didn't expect any increases in TCUD rates.
"The stormwater department is something we're studying now and may be able to bring online this year," he said. "We're still looking into everything it will entail, we'll know more in the next few weeks."
Like TCUD, the Stormwater Department will be an enterprise fund. No tax dollars will go to the department, it will operate strictly from fees.
First reading of the budget will likely come in July, Duffield said. The documents must be passed by Oct. 1, when the city's new fiscal year begins.