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Village Council—Revenues drop slightly in ’12

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Revenues in the Village general fund budget have dropped 11 percent overall compared to a year ago this time, according to Village Finance Director Sharon Potter at Council’s Aug. 6 meeting.

Potter presented Council with a State of the Budget report following the end of half of the Village’s 2012 fiscal year. The general fund, which funds most human services in the village including public safety, is generally considered a barometer of the fiscal health of a municipality.

The total general fund budget is about $3 million.

The budget summary can be found online at; click on Aug. 6 Council meeting.
In a phone interview this week, Village Manager Laura Curliss stated that she’s relieved the general fund decline is not larger.

“On the good side, it’s not that much compared to what some other muncipalities have experienced,” she said. “I’m happy it’s not 30 percent. This is workable. We can manage.”
The largest factor in the revenue drop this year is a decline in revenues from the state. Total state shared taxes declined by about 45 percent, or $124,384 this year compared to the first six months of 2011. The drop includes the loss of the state estate tax and a decline in local government funds, according to Potter. State revenues account for about 10.6 percent of all general fund revenues in 2012, compared to 17 percent of general fund revenues last year, Potter stated in an email.

The decline in revenues also included a drop in local tax receipts, according to Potter. Total local tax revenues dropped by 2.5 percent, or $28,676, compared to the same period in 2011. So far this year, the Village has collected $1,141,301 in income tax, which according to the report, is on target at 51 percent of estimated receipts at the halfway point.

That decrease is primarily due to a drop of 7 percent, or $46,679, in income tax receipts collected this year. In an email following the meeting, Potter stated that the decline is linked to revenues from the Village’s top 25 income tax producers (businesses) rather than individual income taxes. Potter, on the advice of Village Law Director John Chambers, stated she cannot identify the sources of the tax decline. So far this year, the Village has collected 47 percent of estimated local income tax for this year.

During the same period, real estate tax revenues increased 4 percent, or $18,698.
Initial estimates are that total local taxes should remain about the same this year as last, though income taxes are down $450,000 from last year, a drop attributable to an unusual one-time payment from a local company in 2011. While Potter and Chambers said they could not reveal the identity of the company, the increase corresponds with the sale of YSI Incorporated to ITT last year, which resulted in one-time windfalls for some employees of the company.

Revenues produced by fines and permits have held steady this year and last at about 2 percent of the general fund, according to Potter’s email.

Overall, the general fund has accumulated $1,423,124 this year, compared to $1,608,582 in 2011. With expenditures added in, the current general fund balance shows a net reduction of $28,787 this year compared to last.

Enterprise funds vary
The health of the Village enterprise funds, which fund utilities and are replenished by user fees, show a varied story during the first six months of 2012, according to Potter’s report. While the electric fund maintains a healthy balance of about $2 million, revenues so far this year have decreased by about $101,694, a drop likely attributable to the mild winter months, according to Potter’s report. Expenditures over the same period have increased by $245,576, which includes an additional $129,000 spent on tree trimming this year, along with an 8.6 percent increase in salaries and benefits, mainly attributable to health insurance costs. Overall, the electric fund shows a net loss of $204,356 for the year.

In contrast, revenues in the water fund increased by 21 percent, or $52,275, compared to last year, but that figure does not yet include increased usage over the hot summer months, Potter reported. Total expenditures in the water fund decreased by $5,474 over the first six months. Overall, the water fund saw a net increase this year of $48,251 compared to the same period last year.

The sewer fund revenue decreased by about 45 percent, or $290,000 compared to last year, although the bulk of that variance is due to grant and loan funding received in 2011 for the upgrade of the now-completed upgrade of the wastewater treatment plant, according to the report. Overall, the sewer fund balance has a net increase of $23,220 for the year to date.
The solid waste fund saw increased revenues of about 19 percent, although expenditures also increased, and the balance of the first half of 2012 shows a decrease of $7,903, according to Potter’s report, which states that the Village will request that Rumpke do an audit on local fees.

The total Village budget for the first six months of 2012 compared to last shows a decrease of $14,511, according to the report.


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