Birmingham's new $363M budget year begins

Birmingham's new $363M budget year begins

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Birmingham city councilors. Source: WBRC video Birmingham city councilors. Source: WBRC video

Birmingham city leaders celebrated the start of a new budget year on Tuesday, but the city council's finance chairwoman warned about spending tax dollars in the coming year.

A reception was held before the start of city council on Tuesday. The city's new $363 million spending plan starts July 1.

Finance chairwoman Valerie Abbott said the budget fully funds needs such as legal costs, health benefits and salaries. Abbot said in the past, some city costs were not fully funded and required the city to dip into the budget for additional spending.

Abbott said the council hopes to get a better handle on expenses this coming year.

"In this new year, what we're wanting to do is not be looking at dipping into our fund balance for all kinds of things that were not in the budget ... Since we had a pretty sizeable deficit this year, the council is going to be much more careful about what it approves," Abbott said.

Abbott said the city faces a difficult time balancing the budget because the fiscal year starts July 1 and most of the tax dollars comes in January.

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dollars comes in January.

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