Archived Story

Fund-balance withdrawal is minimized

Published 1:03am Friday, March 29, 2013

By MIKE VOSS

Washington Daily News

 

A working draft of the 2013-2014 budget for Washington indicates the city could be meeting some major goals set by the City Council regarding fiscal matters.

The working draft shows the city dipping into its general-fund balance to borrow $186,200 to balance the 2013-2014 general fund. The council wants to minimize how much it takes from a fund balance (rainy-day fund or monetary reserve) to help balance fund’s next budget.

The working draft show’s the general fund at $14.8 million for the 2013-2014 budget.

“In essence, we’re really staying in line with where we’re at in the general fund,” City Manager Josh Kay said during the council’s meeting Monday.

During a council meeting in December 2012, Councilman Doug Mercer noted that in eight of the past 10 years, expenses in the general fund were higher than revenues. Recently, those expenses were about $1 million more than incoming revenues. Mercer said the city must continue to work toward narrowing the gap between expenses and revenues so it doesn’t have to transfer funds into the general fund to cover the gap between revenues and expenses.

The working draft indicates business-license fees would generate about $460,000 for the city in the upcoming fiscal year, an increase of about $280,000 over the current fiscal year. The draft shows revenue generated by property taxes coming in at $4.28 million during the next fiscal year, which begins July.

Property taxes account for 29 percent of the revenues coming into the general fund in the next fiscal year, according to the working draft. In the general fund, 90 percent of the revenue comes from 11 sources.

Kay wants to have copies of the proposed 2013-2014 budget document to the mayor and council members no later than April 8. A public hearing on the proposed budget is set (tentatively) for May 23, with the council adopting the budget (tentatively) June 10.

The working draft includes no increases in electric rates or fees for water and sewer.

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