Mt. Vernon Register-News

December 20, 2012

Budget on track despite lower sales tax

Decrease in sales tax attributed to interstate construction, says city finance director

By TESA GLASS
tesa.glass@register-news.com

MT. VERNON — — The city budget is on track for the second quarter of the fiscal year, although some sales taxes are lower than projected.

“In general corporate, we like to be at the break even point by the end of the year,” said City Finance Director Merle Hollmann, “Right now, we’re about $130,000 down and we want the budget in the black, not red.”

Hollmann said he expects to be in the black in January.

“We have insurance premiums for our health insurance that will be going down by 7 percent in January,” Hollmann explained. “We also have our commercial insurance, casualty and general liability along with worker’s compensation that is coming in lower than last year. ... That’s the first time that has ever happened since I’ve been here.”

The general corporate working fund balance as of Oct. 31 was at $3,698,146 with revenues at 48 percent of the budgeted amounts and actual expenditures at 49 percent of the budget. The city expected to be at a budgeted deficit for the year of $287,615 and by the end of the second quarter, the actual budget deficit was at $129,720.

Sales taxes came in with the 1 percent sales tax at 2.5 percent under last year’s receipts; the 1 percent home rule sales tax at 2.1 percent under last year’s receipts; the state income tax at 7.6 percent over the previous year; the 1 percent food and beverage tax at .9 percent over the previous year; and the 2 cent per gallon diesel fuel tax at 6.2 percent under receipts for last year.

“We believe the decrease in sales taxes is mostly attributed to the work on the Interstate,” Hollmann said. “We really have no way of knowing for sure, but if you look at the diesel tax, it’s way down, and that is directly related to Interstate traffic.”

Year-to-date totals in the tax receipts are $2,614,274 in the 1 percent sales tax; $1,846,461 in the 1 percent home rule sales tax; $1,293,359 in the state income tax; $323,604 in the 1 percent food and beverage tax; and $302,153 in the 2 cent per gallon diesel fuel tax.