The Camas City Council this week unanimously approved a revised 2024 budget that postpones the hiring of more than two dozen city staff positions, including eight firefighters, two police sergeants and a parks project manager.
During the council’s regular meeting Monday, Camas Finance Director Cathy Huber Nickerson reminded council members that a housing slowdown and projected drop in expected property and sales tax revenues had forced Camas Mayor Steve Hogan to revise the 2024 budget approved by council members in December 2022.
“In June this year, we revisited the forecast,” Huber Nickerson said Monday, adding that Camas has experienced slower economic growth in 2023, due to “rising interest rates and cost-of-living increases.”
Hogan unveiled his revamped 2024 budget in October and said it reflected nearly $1.5 million in expected tax revenues due to lower rates of new housing construction and sales taxes expected in 2024.
“The numbers we’ll have for next year’s property taxes, which capture August 2022 to August 2023 is much lower than it has been in many years,” Huber Nickerson told council members in October, adding Monday that “the reduced 2024 budget proposed Oct. 2, mitigates (fewer revenues) by holding off on hiring positions.
During Monday’s council meeting, Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Don Chaney credited Hogan and city staff for their response to the unexpected revenue shortfall.
“They thought it prudent to (hold off on hiring) 26 positions,” Chaney said Monday. “This was a challenging exercise to preserve our flexibility for future expenditures and protect our reserves and function as efficiently as we can. I appreciate it.”
Learn more about the city of Camas’ budget at budget.cityofcamas.us.