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Village revenues on the rise

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Village revenues are on the increase, an uptick anticipated to continue at least into next year.

“I expect this trend to continue,” Village Assistant Manager and Finance Director Melissa Dodd reported to Village Council at Council’s Sept. 18 meeting. 

The discussion took place during Council’s first look at the 2018 Village general fund budget. The general fund provides revenue for most Village services except enterprises (utilities), and is considered the barometer of the health of a municipal budget. Dodd will present the first look at the Village’s 2018 enterprise and capital project budgets at Council’s Oct. 2 meeting. Council plans to vote on the 2018 budget at its Nov. 20 meeting.

Because of unexpected revenues, the Village’s 2017 budget is expected to end up substantially in the black rather than having a deficit as originally anticipated. While a deficit of $31,971 was expected this year, Dodd now forecasts a surplus of $730,754, which will go into the Village’s general fund balance of about $2 million.

The uptick in revenues is largely caused by an increase in Village income tax revenues. While Dodd had forecast revenues of $1,600,000 from local income tax for this year, more taxes than expected have been paid, so that the Village is now expected to see $1,973,459 in income taxes this year. Dodd projected a similar figure, $1,900,000, in income tax revenue for 2018.

That amount reflects a steady increase in local income taxes in recent years. In 2015, the Village received $1,509,003 in income tax revenues; and in 2016, income tax came in at $1,568,481. The Village income tax of 1.5 percent on local workers is the largest single source of revenue in the general fund.

The increase in taxes is not linked to any specific event or company, but rather to many small changes, according to Dodd.

“There isn’t one business we can point to, the increases are spread across the board,” she said.

Growth at YSI/Xylem and DMS ink are two factors that contributed to the revenue uptick, Dodd said.

The budget information is good news for the village, Council members agreed.

“This is about jobs, employment, wages,” Council President Karen Wintrow said.

Another factor related to the uptick in revenues is an unanticipated increase in Village property taxes, according to the 2017 budget figures. Property taxes, largely based on the number of homes in the village, tend to remain steady because the number of homes has remained steady. In 2015, property taxes came in at $879,467; and in 2016, property tax revenue was $910,393. While property tax revenue was anticipated in 2017 to be $863,625, it is now projected by the end of the year to be $897,281. 

That increase can be associated with  property owners splitting their lots to build new homes, according to Village Manager Patti Bates.

“We’ve done quite a few lot splits in the past few years,” Bates said. The action followed zoning changes that now allow greater density in the village.

Another factor that contributed to the increase in 2017 revenue was the sale of a portion of the Village-owned Sutton Farm to Glen Helen, according to Dodd. That sale netted about $200,000 in unexpected revenue for the Village.

Regarding 2017 Village expenses, spending has come in somewhat lower than projected. While this year’s budget forecast $3,011,746 in expenses, the end-of-year spending projection is now $2,896,510. The expense forecast for 2018 is $3,323,850. With 2018 revenues expected to be $3,424,715 in all, a surplus of about $100,000 is anticipated in next year’s budget.

“It’s great to see a budget in the black instead of the red,” Wintrow said.

Dodd described herself as conservative in making budget forecasts. That is, she tends to estimate revenues on the low side and expenses on the high side. 

Other items on Council’s Sept. 18 agenda will be covered in next week’s News.

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