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The Fiscal Sustainability Committee that was established by the Broken Arrow City Council has submitted its recommendations for improving the financial condition of the City of Broken Arrow.
Since July 2010, the City has had to rely on fund balances to cover budgeted expenses in the General Fund, which supports services such as police, fire and emergency medical services, jail, municipal court, parks, recreation, streets, cemetery, building inspections and permitting. Only through savings in operational expenditures has the City been able to minimize impact on the budgets. These revenue challenges have negatively affected staffing levels, maintenance and operational budgets for departments and compromised the City Council’s emergency reserve fund balance policies. In an effort to address this ongoing revenue issue, the City Council in October 2014 appointed Fiscal Sustainability Committee members to investigate, identify and recommend new and increased sources of revenue, as well as cost savings measures to improve the condition of the General Fund.
The Committee made 17 recommendations in its final report, which was submitted to the City Council on April 21. Some of the recommendations include:
“After months of analysis covering expenses, revenue and taxes, Committee members concluded that a sales tax increase is the only way to really address the City’s long term funding issues,” said Russell Peterson, a member of the citizen advocacy group Build a Better Broken Arrow and Chairman of the Fiscal Sustainability Committee. “This was a collaborative effort by a group of residents, business owners, civic leaders, and City Staff. It is my hope that citizens will support these recommendations, which will position Broken Arrow for a fiscally sustainable future.”
The Fiscal Sustainability Committee was comprised of an appointee by each City Council member, four members of City Staff, and representatives of the Fraternal Order of Police, the International Association of Firefighters, Build a Better Broken Arrow, and the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce.