“Following notification from the Vanderburgh County Auditor that the city experienced a decrease in property tax receipts at the end of 2013 like many other units government, our administration began a process with department heads to identify potential cuts to the 2014 budget,” said Mayor Winnecke. “These strategic adjustments outlined today are aimed at tightening financial control while having a minimal impact on overall city government services.”
Expenditure adjustments totaling more than $800,000 were made to several departments, according to City Controller Russell Lloyd, Jr., CPA. They include reductions impacting the line item mainly for police compensatory time buyout; METS for fuel and other items; and from the Department of Sustainability, Energy and Environment Quality. Lloyd said the decrease in the METS’s fuel budget equals the money left in the account at the end of 2013 that was rolled over into the 2014 budget. He said all of SEEQ’s functions were transferred to the Evansville Environmental Protection Agency at the end of 2013 to improve efficiency and streamline services.
Proposed revenue adjustments to the 2014 budget total more than $820,000. They include increased revenues from METS, police grants and police fuel reimbursements. Lloyd said additional revenue adjustments for Locust Hill and Oak Hill cemeteries are the result of higher than projected revenues after the year end review.
“It is important to note that these adjustments fall into the operating funds and not the city’s other financing tools," said Lloyd. "They will not affect projects planned in the city's capital budget for 2014, such as the convention hotel, road improvements and water and sewer projects. Furthermore, we will continue to watch June property tax receipts to determine if these adjustments are sufficient."
Lloyd said many local units of government are dealing with the shortfalls caused by property tax caps. For example, he cites the Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation, which recently announced $4.8 million in reductions due to the state imposed property tax limits.