December 11, 2012 – Special Meeting, Year End review and 2013 Budget Update

Year End Review

Revenues

  • Property Taxes and Transfer Tax down
  • Interest Income below expectation
  • Sales, Business, Transient Occupancy Tax up
  • Parking Fines – down

Expenditures

  • 2.1 million under adopted budget
  • Held positions vacant and held back non-personnel expenses
  • Also benefited from write offs

Ended year instead of $1.9M deficit with 400K excess which will be added to the reserve

2013 Budget
Projected revenues forecasted at $1M deficit (original projection was $2M)

Over performers

  • Property Transfer Taxes  (project $1.1M additional over 2012)
  • Sales Tax  (up 11.5% over projected 3%)  raised expectation by $200
  • Transient Occupancy Tax (projected 3% increase, however up 15% for 1st quarter)  raised expectation $200K

Under performers

  • Secured property taxes
  • Parking fines
  • Vehicle in lieu fees

Will continue keeping expenses down.  May have $1M deficit if property transfer taxes don’t perform as expected.

Councilmember Comments
Wozniak:  Intrigued by sales and that transient occupancy tax went up.  Would like to see trends in number of sales and hotel rooms – year over year comparison.  This might be more important for Economic Development presentations but the link would be good.  Property Transfer tax moves around alot.  In the past, if revenues were over $10M we would put that excess into our reserves and not tag it for other uses.  Looks like the economy is turning around a bit.  Do we have any way of tracking commercial property turn over and encourage it?
Moore:  It is the first in the process of looking at our 2014 budget.  Were the parking fines and booting the revenue down due to the new booting program?  Why has there been a decline in ticket writing?  Do we have less staff?  A 12% reserve will keep us in operation for a month?  Should we raise our reserve to 12% or looking at it differently?
Capitelli:  I am concerned about the variable being way out of whack in one way or another such as Supplemental Taxes.  Since prices went down this had an impact.  How many people are availing themselves of the refund in the Transfer Tax?  Another big variable is the parking fine booting – we were flying blind.  Do we know the average booting cost and how many cars were involved?  Is this just for parking tickets or for non-payment of registration?  Also moving violations were very low.  Is there a possibility that our parking costs are going down because people are shopping elsewhere?
Maio:  Even thought people may want to park elsewhere because it is free we have some great restaurants.   I would like more information about the Utility Users Tax – are phone revenues down due to cell phone use vs. land line?  Do you have any idea what is behind the changes on cannabis tax revenue?