Apr 032013

By Nick Worth
The League of Arizona Cities and Towns unveiled its annual shared revenue budget estimates for fiscal year 2013-14 recently. According to the report, Arizona cities and towns should see an increase in the shared revenues they see from the state.
The preliminary estimates are based on population figures from the 2010 census, with the exception of the Urban Revenue Sharing monies, better known as the State Sales Tax. The population figure used to compute the shared revenue from State Income Tax, Vehicle License Tax (VLT) and Highway Users Revenue Funds (HURF) is 5,022,708. The population figure for distributing the shared portion of State Sales Tax is 5,028,462.
The total dollar figures used by the league to come up with its preliminary estimates are based on figures from the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and the Arizona Department of Revenue (DOR). The league also noted in its report that the estimates are subject to change depending on the governor’s budget.
According to the league, VLT revenues showed only a .3 percent increase from last year. Similarly, the HURF distribution is only expected to show a .3 percent increase from last year.
The estimate for state shared sales tax is approximately 3.3 percent higher than last year’s estimated amount. The league noted this fund may be subject to revision later in the year and the Department of Revenue will send final estimates in late June.
The estimate for shared state income tax is 9.2 percent higher than last year’s estimate. According to the press release by the league, this is the only one of the shared revenues that can be accurately forecast since it is based on collections from two years ago.
The report further summarized that the total estimated state shared revenues for cities and towns in the upcoming fiscal year, based on current state law, comes out to $181,187,000 from vehicle license taxes, $308,911,000 from HURF, $434,000,000 from State Sales Tax and $561,000,000 from State Income Tax.
These figures are all up from the previous year’s May estimates, which were:
* Vehicle License Tax, $180,700,000.
* Highway User Revenue, $308,086,000.
* State Sales Tax, $420,000,000.
* State Income Tax, $513,600,000.
The HURF revenues have shown the least gain over the past 10 months.
The breakdown for individual cities and towns in Navajo County is, again, based on population. According to league estimates, Holbrook, with a 2010 Census population of 5,053, should receive shared revenues of $260,032 from VLT, $572,259 from HURF, $436,617 from sales tax and $563,738 from the state income tax fund.
Holbrook’s estimated shared revenue last year at this time was $261,131 from the VLT fund, $578,434 from HURF, $422,533 from sales tax and $516,106 from income tax.
Snowflake’s population is 5,590, according to the 2010 census, meaning the town will collect shared revenues from the VLT of $287,667, HURF monies totaling $633,075, sales tax revenue of $483,018 and $623,648 in shared income tax revenue.
Last year Snowflake’s estimated shared revenues were $288,883 for VLT, $639,906 from HURF, $467,437 in sales tax revenues and $570,955 from state shared income tax.
Winslow has 9,655 residents, according to the census, and so the city will receive $496,856 from the VLT fund, $1,093,441 in HURF money, $834,265 in shared sales taxes and $1,077,159 from the shared income tax fund.
Some of Winslow’s numbers are also down from last year’s estimates of $498,956 in VLT money, $1,105,240 in HURF funds, $807,353 in sales taxes and $986,148 in state income tax monies.
All three cities and towns are looking at less shared revenue in vehicle license taxes and HURF revenues, but there is an upside that helps to balance things out.
“We’re seeing a little bit of an increase, about three percent, in state sales tax,” said Winslow City Manager Jim Ferguson. He noted that the estimated shared state income tax revenue also is up from last year’s figure.