Mobile’s revenue has increased by more than $3 million over the current year’s budget, with three months left to go in the fiscal year.
Paul Wesch announced the increase Tuesday at the City Council meeting. He said the increase was due to a “slightly improved economy.”
“We continue to see a mild increase in sales taxes and business license taxes compared to the budget,” Wesch said during a Finance Committee meeting Tuesday afternoon. “The total of revenue items is over $3 million, or 1.69 percent.”
Specifically, Wesch told committee members the city was $868,000 ahead of budget projections on business licenses.
“It’s encouraging business license taxes are up,” Councilor Joel Daves said.
In addition to the higher-than-expected revenues the city has also seen a decrease of expenditures, to the tune of about $6 million.
Many other peer cities, specifically Tuscaloosa, Birmingham and Montgomery haven’t experienced increases, Wesch said. Auburn and Huntsville are exceptions.
As far as the decrease in expenditures, Wesch said the operating departments in the city have done “ a wonderful job” as each is under budget. Expenditures are $6.5 million under what was budgeted, he said.
Councilor Fred Richardson argued that given the $3 million surplus, a budget proposal by former Mayor Sam Jones to give employees raises would’ve cost the $2.5 million and should’ve remained once the budget was revisited by Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s administration.
“We never had a deficit,” Richardson said.
Daves defended the revised budget, saying the council didn’t know there would be a surplus when they made the move.
“You didn’t know that, but I did,” Richardson replied.
The Finance Committee also discussed the possibility of reviewing a draft 2015 fiscal year budget, before the Aug. 20 deadline for the administration to submit a final draft to council.
Wesch said the process was going smoothly.
“All first drafts are in from the departments,” Wesch said. “Some will have to go back and revised.”
Right now, revenue from business license taxes for the 2015 budget looks to be about 1.8 percent higher than projections, Wesch said. He added that the Stimpson’s goal is to introduce more capital funds than last year.