The fine print: C-U budgets

The fine print: C-U budgets

With budget talks commanding city councils' attention Monday night (Urbana) and tonight (Champaign), The News-Gazette sifted through pages and pages of financial estimates for a little compare-and-contrast.

— With collections coming from 27 hotels/motels (and at least one more on the way), Champaign predicts $3,407,199 in hotel-motel tax revenue. Urbana, which also imposes a 7 percent tax on the receipts of hotel and motel room rentals, is counting on $935,000 — up $8,500 from the previous year.

— Between them, the cities plan to generate $1.25 million from liquor licenses ($766,600 for Champaign, $484,000 for Urbana). Among other projected revenue streams: $18,986 for sanitary hauler licenses for Urbana, $181,800 for plumbing permits in Champaign.

— Police represent the largest personnel group in both cities, with Champaign (pop. 86,637) budgeting for 156.63 positions to 72.25 in Urbana (pop. 42,014). Champaign has twice as many patrol officers (94 to 47), nearly triple the manpower devoted to investigations (31.5 to 11) and more than three times the administrative personnel (10 to 3).

— Urbana's projections include $330,000 for parking tickets and $1.235 million in parking fees. The latter would be a year-over-year bump of about $85,000, the result of downtown hourly rates being hiked from 25 to 50 cents. (They were last raised in 1986 for downtown streets, 1991 for lots). Champaign forecasts $3,013,092 coming in under the category of parking fines, fees and meters.

— Champaign's budget projects $80,250 for excess false alarm fines, plus another $37,000 for DUI fines, $25,150 for liquor violations and $11,000 for animal control fines. Urbana's penalty projections include $148,500 for traffic citations, $21,000 for notice to appear fines and $7,000 for dog control fines and fees.

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