Lyon budget process sometimes calls for shuffling

Preparing a budget is something like playing the computer card game Free Cell, you just move the numbers around until everything fits.

For Josh Foli, Lyon County comptroller, that means taking projected revenue from one source, such as the general fund, and moving it to another, such as the road fund, until the county's financial needs are met.

"Some funds don't have revenue sources, so we have to transfer from the general funds," he said. "You have to make sure the transfers to and from are listed with the correct funds."

With all that fund shuffling, Foli and other county officials have made sure Lyon County taxpayers will not face an increase in the current property tax rate of .8644 per $100 of assessed valuation.

Helping hold the line on taxes is a $4.3 million increase, a 16 percent hike, in revenues delivered to the county collected from an increase in sales tax revenues.

About $1.4 million of the projected revenue increase is due to the park construction tax that must be spent for park improvements.

The remainder was transferred to the county's Surplus Building Management Fund to be used for future building needs.

Foli said the county roads posed the biggest problem when putting together the 2006-07 budget, because revenues haven't kept up with costs.

"Road revenues have remained very flat for the past few years, even though expenditures such as the cost of materials have increased substantially," Foli said. "Expenditures for payroll costs, salaries and benefits plus utilities and fuel that is all revenues are sufficient to cover."

Because of this, no new equipment or materials could be purchased without Foli transferring $440,000 that had been slated for Lyon County's two cities, Fernley and Yerington. Foli said the cities would have to find other funding through the Regional Transportation Commission and the road construction tax.

The proposed budget was presented to the Lyon County Board of Commissioners during special hearings Wednesday and Thursday. The commissioners are expected to vote on a final budget proposal in May.

Lyon County proposed budget highlights

General fund

Beginning balance $7.18 million

Anticipated revenues $32.19 million

Anticipated expenditures $30.76 million

Transfers $4.77 million

Contingency $922,706

Ending Balance $2,925,738

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or 882-2111 ext. 351.


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