The city is $4.3 million ahead of 2015 budget projections in revenue, so far, and almost $11.6 million below budget projections for expenditures.
The updated, year-to-date numbers were announced by Executive Director of Finance Paul Wesch, during a meeting of the City Council’s finance committee Tuesday.
Most of the good news in revenue comes from sales and property taxes. The city saw about a $1 million increase over projections in property taxes and about a $2.6 million increase over budget projections in sales and use taxes, so far this fiscal year.
Wesch said the increase from property tax revenue is most likely due to a reassessment of the city’s tax base.
The city saw minimal gains, compared to budget projections, in total charges and services, as well as transfers.
On the expenses, Wesch doesn’t expect the $11.6 million figure to hold and calculated that the city, instead, would be closing to $8 million under budget, by the end of the fiscal year.
For one, he pointed to a Mobile Metro Jail expense of about $1.4 million, which has yet to be realized. In addition, expenses of $1.6 million for property/fire insurance and a $622,000 expense for juvenile court will also have to be realized before the end of the fiscal year.
In addition, Wesch said departmental expenses dropped by about $700,000, despite the administration giving two raises, during this fiscal year.
In other business, committee members discussed updates on current budget work. Councilors asked for the proposed budget before the Aug. 20 deadline, if possible. Councilman Joel Daves, finance committee chairman asked if the council could be notified of any “surprises” before the budget is officially presented.
For example, councilors brought up the administration’s cutting of long-standing performance contracts as being a surprise in this year’s budget. In an amendment last year, the council reinstated many of those contracts.
As for the current status of performance contracts this year, Wesch only said that it was still “in process.”
Wesch also told councilors that engineering firms were currently being interviewed as program managers for proposed projects related to $21 million in infrastructure capital expenses that are to be split among the seven council districts, during the next fiscal year.