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Higher-than-expected revenue leads to Nye County budget changes

The Nye County Commission approved two separate budget augmentations for the county during its Feb. 20 meeting, providing further evidence of the strengthening of the county’s overall financial position.

The budget augmentations were required due to, “…certain unanticipated sources of revenue and fund balance previously unbudgeted (that) have become available to Nye County during the 2017-2018 budget year…” as detailed by information included with the commission agenda items.

Details

The commission first addressed Nye County Resolution #2018-10. With this resolution, the 911 Medical Emergency Fund saw a boost of $30,347 while the Agricultural Extensions received an additional $2,056. The County Special Ad Valorem Fund jumped by $283,786. The total amount for the augmentation under Resolution 2018-10 was $316,188.

In a separate resolution, #2018-11, six other county budgets were outlined for augmentation as well. These included the Airport Fund, which increased $25,322; Public Safety Sales Tax – Sheriff with $42,877 in additional funding; the Renewable Energy Fund, which went up $10,890; the Ambulance and Health Fund, which saw an increase of $31,449; the Senior Nutrition Fund at $24,778; and the Smoky Valley Television District, which received $9,814 in unexpected monies.

The total amount of augmentation approved under Resolution #2018-11 was $145,130.

Financial position

During the most recent update on the county budget status, Nye County Comptroller Savannah Rucker stated, “Revenues collected through December 31, 2017 are up about $2.9 million from last fiscal year so our revenues are stronger than last year. Our real property tax, personal property tax and consolidated tax are all in excess of our projections which is setting us up to have a decent fiscal year 2018; we are looking pretty strong.”

Nye County has only recently begun to emerge from a longstanding budget crunch, during which revenues consistently fell short, forcing reductions in the allocated amounts for a variety of services. Funding for some non-mandated services, such as a subsidy for the operation of the Pahrump Animal Shelter, were even completely eliminated.

The problem was on such a scale that the state eventually got involved, placing Nye County on its “Fiscal Watch List” in early 2016. However, now that the county appears to be recovering and financial stability is making its presence known, Nye County Commissioner Lorinda Wichman has requested that the Committee on Local Government Finance remove Nye County from that list.

“I was told by the Nevada Department of Taxation staff that they would request this of the new director and with his approval it would be an action item at the April meeting of the Committee on Local Government Finance,” Wichman stated. “Obviously it is difficult to predict the actions of a board or committee but I do anticipate this request to be addressed in April.”

Wichman said she believed Rucker had had a big impact on the county’s finances and she was very proud to have her on staff. “Everybody has worked very hard on this but I think most of this is due to Savannah’s talents,” Wichman said, also noting, “I went with Savannah and Tim Sutton to the CGLF meeting on January 30 and it was a very pleasant meeting. Our Savannah presents herself extremely well and after I left that meeting I got no less than three phone calls to compliment me on our Savannah…”

Town augmentations

At the same meeting on Feb. 20, the commission, sitting as the governing board for the town of Pahrump, approved augments for the town’s budget as well. Under Pahrump Resolution #2018-01 an additional $1.4 million was placed in the town’s general fund due to higher revenue than anticipated.

Under Pahrump Resolution #2018-02 the Pahrump 3/10 Tourism Room Tax fund saw an increase of $56,451.

The town of Pahrump’s Ambulance Fund augmentation was the only one to reflect a $181,118 adjustment due to increased expenditures.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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