Las Cruces Metropolis Council passes $515 million annual price range

LAS CRUCES – The Las Cruces City Council approved a half a billion dollar annual budget for the upcoming fiscal year and its annual capital improvement program.

City councilors unanimously approved the Fiscal Year 2023 budget and CIP with few questions at their May 16 meeting. The new fiscal year begins July 1 and the city has until June 1 to submit their approved budget to the state. District 2 Councilor Tessa Abeyta was absent.

The total amount for the adopted budget, $515.4 million, is 3.2 percent — or $15.8 million — higher than last year’s adopted budget. It’s slightly higher than a previous draft of the budget, as department spending proposals get set in stone and final department budgets come in, such as for Las Cruces Utilities.

The budget includes a 10 percent increase in General Fund spending when compared to the city’s revised FY22 budget, or an increase of $12 million over current spending.

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Total General Fund spending is estimated to be $130 million, which is 16.6 percent — or $18.5 million — above the adopted FY22 budget. The increase includes $10 million in budgeted pay raises and increased benefits for city personnel and new spending for city departments, including $238,000 for economic development, $457,000 for the Las Cruces Fire Department and $354,000 for parks and recreation. 

The budget includes $1.5 million in vehicle acquisition fund spending.

The city is estimated to bring in $122.9 million in revenue, a rise of 2 percent when compared to actual FY22 revenue and about 7.6 percent more than the adopted FY22 budget. The budget does not include any tax increases. The city is estimating $500,000 in cannabis excise tax revenue, though where that revenue is spent has yet to be decided.

The city council also voted to approve a $159.4 million Capital Improvement Program budget, including $1.16 million in new project spending, including downtown parking lot renovations, airport pavement maintenance and improvements to Meerscheidt Recreation Center. But the CIP will likely increase as the city accepts various legislative appropriations and issues bonds during the fiscal year.

More about the budget: Las Cruces city manager proposes $514 million annual budget. Here’s what’s in it.

Michael McDevitt is a city and county government reporter for the Sun-News. He can be reached at 575-202-3205, [email protected] or @MikeMcDTweets on Twitter.

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