Apr 302014

By Tammy Gray
The gap between revenues and expenditures continues to increase in a positive way for Navajo County, as estimated income will exceed planned purchases by more than $850,000 by the end of the year, if current trends continue.
Finance Director James Menlove explained that although the funds appear as a surplus in the budget for the current fiscal year, they are actually needed to supplement the coming year in the face of diminishing federal and state funding.
“It (the money) will be essential to meet challenges in the upcoming fiscal year,” he said.
Federal payments in lieu of taxes (PILT) are not being included in the coming budget since Congress has not given any indication that the funding will be continued. In addition, the state still has not restored funds that counties relied on for road maintenance, courts and other day-to-day operations.
Menlove noted that the good news is that sales tax revenues are still steadily, if slowly, increasing.
“Sales tax receipts in April recovered a bit,” he remarked.
According to county documents, state shared sales tax revenues for April, which actually reflect prior months’ sales, were the highest they have been in the last five years, coming in at $815,399. In fiscal year 2012-13, they totaled $774,850, while in 2011-12 they were $718,860 and in 2010-11 they were $742,734.
State sales tax revenues for March and February were also above prior years, with March revenues totaling $806,934 and February revenues, which reflect December sales, coming in at $1,022,896.
County sales tax revenues followed a similar pattern, with April totals beating out those for the last five years at $453,997. The county took in $441,945 in April of fiscal year 2012-13, $406,138 in 2011-12 and $434,142 in 2010-11.
Year-to-date expenses are on track to match last year, with the county having spent $24.5 million of a $35.9 million budget. By the end of the year, the county expects to have spent $31.7 million, slightly above last year’s total of $31.5 million. At this point, the county has a $423,980 surplus, but expects to just about double that by the end of the fiscal year in July, ending the year with $853,169 to carry in to the next budget.