Budget time

Published 6:54 pm Wednesday, June 12, 2013

JACKSON – The current year budget for Northampton County shows progress in revenue and sales tax, but still reflects a struggling economy.

Last week, Northampton County Finance Officer Dot Vick updated the Board of Commissioners on the current year budget.

At the end of April, net revenues were over expenditures by $3.35 million.

“That was up by $1.5 million last year, but you have to take into consideration that we had a five cent tax increase—it should have been up at least $900,000,” said Vick. “We should have a little cushion there so hopefully things hold through (this month) we’ll end up without having to use the fund balance.”

General fund revenues received were at 87.9 percent of the budget with expenditures at 74.6 percent of budget.

Vick’s report showed the enterprise funds (water and solid waste) are running in the black. The water fund is more than $300,000 over expenditures and solid waste is more than $150,000. She added these figures are less than this time last year.

She said the ambulance has collected what is budgeted with 97 percent fees collected to date. Ambulance revenue should reach 38 to 40 percent of budgeted expenditures, according to past history.

Vick said cash flow is still a concern even though she expected reimbursement to the county by the US Department of Commerce for the Enviva project this month.

Tax collection was budgeted for the current year with a 95 percent collection rate.

“It looks like we will not collect that 95 percent,” Vick said. “So be prepared that when the auditor comes in, you may hear from (the) Local Government (Commission) on that.”

In her budget report, she noted the county would miss that budgeted tax collection rate by approximately $500,000.

Vick said sales tax revenue has increased in the current fiscal year and will exceed what was budgeted.