Mid-year budget review summary, May 19, 2014

Actual General Fund revenues (blue, or left bars) collected at mid-year compared to the annual budget. Bars should hit 50% mark or higher. Nearly all--98% of property taxes--are collected by March of each year.

Actual General Fund revenues (blue, or left bars) collected at midyear compared to the annual budget. Bars should hit 50% mark or higher. Nearly all property taxes–98%–are collected by March of each year.

Half-way there, and more — Mid-year budget review presented to the Finance Committee

The Finance Committee last week got a look at where the city stands (or should we say “stood”) at the fiscal year’s March 31 mid-point, with emphasis on the General Fund’s $40 million annual budget and the $5 million Capital Project Fund budget. Several interesting charts reproduced here show historic trends to lend some perspective.

The 85-page report calculates 50% of departmental and fund annual budgets, then notes variations in actual spending as of March 31. The 50% mark, however, is only a guide, as most property taxes are collected by March, but sales taxes come in all year and can fluctuate. On the expense side, there are emergencies that don’t follow the calendar, and a department may spend all its yearly capital budget at the beginning of the year, for instance, without ever going over its annual budget.

The ups and downs of The Homewood sales tax collections over the last few years. How will this year compare?

The ups and downs of The Homewood sales tax collections over the last few years. How will this year compare?

There were no unpleasant surprises; in fact, important tax revenues are well ahead of projections and over $1 million ahead of where the city stood last year at the same period. However, with the 5-member Finance Committee all present, the mayor made cautionary statements about entertaining any further capital fund projects. None of the year’s high-profile projects (listed at the bottom of this report) are in danger of a budgetary ax, although some seem to be idling.

As a reference point to the review, here are the six largest departments and their annual operating budgets, according to the city’s mid-year review.

2014 Annual Budgets for the City’s Six Largest Departments
General Government    $10.7 million
Police $9.4 million
Fire $6.7 million
Park & Rec $3.8 million
Sanitation $2.3 million
Library $2.3 million

City-provided chart showing General Fund Revenue over the past six years. The 2014 budget anticipates $40 million in GF revenues for the year.

City-provided chart showing General Fund Revenue over the past six years. The 2014 budget anticipates $40 million in GF revenues for the year.

GENERAL FUND REPORT – The General Fund is the city’s source of operating money for staff salaries, contract work, supplies, utilities, travel, etc. Depending overwhelmingly on tax revenues for operations, the city draws three-quarters of its $40 million annual GF budget from retail sales, lodging, property and other levies. The rest comes from business and other licenses and permits, with less than 5% of city revenues coming from fines, services and other sources, according to the review document.

GF revenue summary – Overall, collected revenues from every source as of March 31 stood at $24.8 million, or ahead of the mid-year projection by over $4 million and more than $1 million over the $23.4 million recorded at the mid-point of FY2013. Property tax collections accounted for half the excess with notable boosts coming from sales tax and business and utility license fees.

A five-year history of city spending from the General Fund. The current year's budget is $40 million.

A five-year history of city spending from the General Fund. The current year’s budget is $40 million.

GF spending summary – According to the report, only three of 16 departments tracked were spending beyond their mid-year projection–General Government, Fire, and Streets.  However, actual total spending for all departments fell neatly at the half-year projection mark, or $20,146,140 out of a theoretical $20,219,639 anticipated at mid-year.

Departments whose spending exceeded the 50% mark on March 31:

GOVERNMENT – $5.9M spent/$5.4M anticipated
FIRE – $3.4M spent/ $3.3M anticipated
STREETS – $732,413 spent/$691,276 anticipated

CAPITAL PROJECTS FUND REPORT – The city council this year budgeted $5 million for capital projects across 10 departments, drawing about 40% of revenues from taxes, another 40% from “other revenue” (interest, borrowing), and the rest from grants and other sources. So far, according to the report, the city has collected just $1 million of the $2.6 million expected at mid-year. And, while some departments have exceeded the mid-year projections*, spending overall has stayed inside the 50% mark.

The city may spend up to $75,000 repairing sections of the channelized Griffin Creek that collapsed during recent heavy rains.

The city may spend up to $75,000 repairing sections of the channelized Griffin Creek that collapsed during recent heavy rains.

Detail of departmental capital project spending at mid-year

Annual Capital budget/ Spent at mid-year

General Government $2.6M/$211,288
Inspection Svs. $176,800/$9,253
Police $1.1M/$458,178
Fire $315,881/$118,714
Sanitation* $350,000/$337,478
Library* $33,536/$16,447
Park & Rec* $210,436/$178,305
Fleet Maintenance* $54,500/$49,421
Traffic Light Maintenance* $83,530/$6,328
Finance Dept. $50,450/$3,201
TOTAL $5 M/$1.4 M

*Departments spending more than half their capital budgets at mid-year. Sanitation bought vehicles, for instance, and the library bought computers. Traffic Light maintenance has earmarked money over budget, despite low spending. P&R spent $$ on the new center, furniture, and vehicles.

Notable 2014 capital project annual budgets

Greenway II & III Design — $170,000;
Griffin Creek cleaning — $20,000
I-65 Lakeshore interchange/Engineering — $50,000
Creek Wall maintenance — $75,000
Sidewalk repairs — $81,302
Oxmoor Road Engineering/Design — $299,891
Pedestrian Bridge — $912,950
Sidewalk construction — $450,402
West Oxmoor Project Phase I — $400,000 (West Homewood “Village” public improvements)
City Traffic Plan (not budgeted) — $4,915 spent
Building Improvements — $1,500

Certain projects are federally subsidized at 80%.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s