Better Than Projected Revenues May Aid Preparation of 2011 County Budget
October 21, 2010
Joshua Wescott, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606
New Sales Tax Figures, More Savings Through Refinancing Offer Further Opportunities to Hold Down Property Taxes
As the Dane County Board continues its work on the County Executive’s proposed 2011 budget, two developments this week may help the difficult work ahead.
The Dane County Department of Administration received figures yesterday showing sales tax collections for the month of September were up 3.95% from a year ago. Year to date, those collections are running about 2.42% higher than 2009. These figures are significant because the budget for 2010 projected no improvement in sales tax revenue.
The 3.95% increase in September adds up to about $150,000 more in sales tax revenue than the county projected it would collect last month. If sales tax collections for all of 2010 end up 2% higher than last year, that means the county would have about $950,000 more in revenue that it planned on having when this year’s budget was prepared.
“This year’s budget was built on the assumption our economy wouldn’t improve one bit and while this recession is still taking its toll, these better than expected sales tax numbers are a positive indication,” County Executive Kathleen Falk said.
Falk also noted that Dane County on Thursday (10-21) refinanced bonds to save on interest (debt service) payments the county spends to borrow money for capital improvement projects. The bonds being refinanced were issued in 2002 and 2003 to construct the new courthouse and build the new airport terminal.
Through this refinancing, the county will actually save about $130,000 more in interest (debt service) payments in 2011 than initially projected in the County Executive’s budget.
“The County Board and I acted responsibly together in 2009 and because we built a budget that planned for the worst, we’re in a better position this year and heading into next year,” Falk said. “These dollars mean we have new opportunities to lower property taxes or increase the county’s reserve fund in the 2011 budget,” Falk concluded.