Lyon County consolodated tax revenues expected to decline
Appeal Staff Writer
The Lyon County Commissioners got a look at the midfiscal year state of the county’s finances – and it wasn’t pretty.
County Manager Donna Kristaponis and Comptroller Josh Foli told the commissioners Thursday that the county’s share of state consolidated taxes is expected to be less than anticipated,
Consolidated taxes come from sales, liquor, cigarette and other taxes, a portion of which are divided among the counties, based on population.
Foli anticipated that the amount of money from consolidated taxes going to Lyon County this year would be $2 million less than expected. The figures will be released in mid-February.
Shortfalls are also expected in the collection of fees from mobile home permits, deed recordations, building permits, electric, and septic and gas permits, due to the housing slowdown, Foli said.
Increases are expected in utility license fees, local ordinance fines and investment income, but it is not expected to overcome the shortfalls, he added.
Foli anticipates a $780,000 budget deficit in the next five months, but added that in the past the budget was balanced from the end-fund balance, and said that could happen again.
The county will gain some savings from positions that have not been filled, including a court-services professional and planner, as well as professional fees that will not be needed. Contingency funds also equal $868,000.
Foli said the budget problems would not affect the rebuilding of the Silver City Schoolhouse, for which funds have already been dedicated from the Building Surplus Maintenance fund.
“The money is sitting, cash in the bank, for that,” Foli said.
He added that the county’s financial forecast could improve when building picks up in the spring.
Kristaponis said that although there is no hiring freeze, department heads are being asked to hold off hiring for positions that are not immediately necessary.
“It’s important for the taxpayers to know that although we increased staff, we have not increased staff in proportion to our growth,” she said.
She suggested early buyouts for some long-term employees who are nearing retirement as a possible savings, since 80 percent of most departments’ budgets are for salaries and benefits.
• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at email@example.com or 882-2111 ext. 351.