While 2020 has been difficult financially for many, Marysville officials say the city is doing remarkably well.
At Monday night’s Finance Committee meeting, Finance Director Brad Lutz presented an update on the city’s financial situation.
“I think it’s been a good year overall,” Lutz told the committee.
Lutz said property tax collection, about $1.7 million, is at 96% of budgeted receipts, however, receipts are $207,499 or 13.8% greater than the same period from the prior year.
Additionally, he said through the end of October, income tax receipts total $16,750,149, which is $481,986 or 2.9% more than the city received during the same period in the prior year. Lutz said the top 10 payers in the community had paid nearly $550,000 more than last year. Officials said the increase is a result of one-time payments, bonuses or overtime paid to employees during the COVID-19 lockdown period. Lutz said one company made a one-time payment of about $500,000 on income tax from bonuses and overtime.
Lutz said it is positive that the city’s biggest employers are doing well, but the numbers indicate that companies outside the top 10 are falling behind.
He said that given the numbers, it is, “nothing to be concerned about but it is worth noting.”
He said gas tax collections are down a bit, but “the amounts we are receiving are trending back towards normal.”
Additionally, the city has received more than $53,000 more in local government funds in 2020 above the same period in 2019.
“I would have expected to see a decrease or at best be flat,” Lutz said.
He said there was some lost revenue for things like bed tax receipts, which is down for the year, and some delayed revenue for things like permits and fees. He said he expects at least a 20% reduction in bed tax receipts for 2020. He said that because so much travel was just canceled, that revenue is lost. By contrast, he said fees and permit revenue is down. He said that in response to the pandemic, the state delayed certain things like license and vehicle renewals. Lutz said that while the money hadn’t come in yet for some of those items, eventually it would catch up.
At the meeting, the finance committee also reviewed more than a half million dollars in budget adjustments.
Lutz said a lot of the items aren’t really over budget, it is just that the budget didn’t actually reflect costs.
“We could have done a better job anticipating costs,” Lutz said of the 2020 budget.
He said the adjustments are “not necessarily unexpected.” He said that in a budget the size of Marysville’s, a half million on year-end adjustments, “is not concerning at all.”
He said things like changes in staffing or policy can impact budgets in unexpected ways. He also said that sometimes additional costs are the result of additional income, explaining that as development increases, fees paid to the city increase as do inspection and processing costs.
Finance Committee members asked Lutz to bring the adjustments to them on a quarterly basis so there isn’t such a shock at the end of the year.
City manager Terry Emery asked Lutz to provide a written explanation of the changes so council members “can get their arms wrapped around it as best they can.”
Lutz will be asking council to approve the adjustments and waive the second and third readings.
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