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Nye County fiscal 2018 revenue up

Nye County’s revenue for fiscal year 2018 is up from last year thanks to an increase in property tax and consolidated tax revenue.

Nye County’s total revenues for fiscal year 2018 are projected to be $36.5 million and total expenditures are $35 million. Revenues in excess of expenditures stand at $1.5 million and will be rolled over to fiscal year 2019.

“We are seeing more consolidated tax revenue in recent years than in the past,” Nye County Comptroller Savannah Rucker said Tuesday in an interview after a budget hearing in Pahrump.

In fiscal year 2018, Nye County’s property assessed value which is linked to the amount of revenue generated by property taxes is on the upswing.

Rucker said the county is currently at levels that preceded the recession, which also reflects on property tax revenues.

“The county had a deep decline in property assessed valuations between fiscal year 2011 and fiscal year 2012 of property assessed values which really hurt the revenue for the county. Since then, we’ve been on an upward swing,” Rucker said.

Revenue breakdown

Nye County’s general fund consolidated tax is budgeted at $13.7 million in fiscal year 2018, while property tax is budgeted at $13.4 million. Rucker said she used the Nevada Department of Taxation projections and the average amount of money that the county gets to make the budget.

“By not budgeting what we normally see, there’s a buffer to account for delinquencies or any sort of issues that could potentially come up. If we do see increased revenues, and we have a crisis that happens with the county, we could potentially augment it and have additional revenues to use,” Rucker said.

Net proceeds from mining in Nye County were budgeted at $1.8 million. The county didn’t receive net proceeds in 2017 due to legislative changes.

The county also budgeted $3 million for Payment in Lieu of Taxes for fiscal year 2017 and Rucker said the county expects to receive 100 percent of that money. But in fiscal year 2018, she said it’s unclear how much money the county will get so she budgeted Payment in Lieu of Taxes at 80 percent of 2017 or $2.4 million.

Other revenues which comprise a small portion of the county’s budget are projected to be at $2.5 million in 2018. These revenues are made up of intergovernmental, charges for services and fines and licenses.

Budget expense assumptions

Rucker said Nye County is seeing a 5-percent increase for health insurance and a 1-percent increase on life insurance for its employees.

“It’s only getting more expensive,” she said.

Meanwhile, all departments of the service and supply budget remained consistent, according to Nye County’s data.

The majority of net proceeds will be transferred from the county’s general fund into the county’s capital fund to pay for county building maintenance, refurbishment of county systems and replacement of county vehicles, Rucker said.

“We have buildings that are falling apart, we have cars that are really old, our fleet is aging and is costing us more and more money,” Rucker said. “So, we need to start working on repairing our facilities to make sure that they are safe places to work (at), and that the cars that get our elected officials around are safe for the road.”

Fiscal year 2018 budget increases

Nye County was able to budget more money for services and supplies in various departments thanks to increased revenues.

Salaries are the highest share of the county’s 2018 expenditures at $16.1 million followed by benefits of $10.4 million and services and supplies with $8.1 million. The contingency fund is budgeted at $200,000.

Some details:

■ The county budgeted $60,000 in the administration department for an Akerman LLP contract which was previously paid out of the contingency fund. The Miami-based lobbying firm Akerman LLP represents Nye County in federal lobbying activities including Yucca Mountain.

■ The county comptroller will get $113,500 for maintenance agreements with a system that handles the county’s payroll and other tasks.

■ Human resources will see an additional $1,500 for implementation of random drug testing for county employees.

■ The county planning department will get $20,000 for travel for Yucca Mountain projects. The figure will cover airfare and hotels for the county employees who will travel to Washington, D.C. to represent the county in the matter.

■ The county assessor will get another $50,000 and Pahrump Animal Shelter will get $50,000.

■ The sheriff’s office will get $550,000 for overtime and other irregular pay. The figure represents 30 percent of the county’s general fund budget.

■ Emergency Management Services will get $50,000 for a national forestry contract. The Department of Public Works will see an increase of $1,128 and senior nutrition, which hasn’t been funded since 2015 will get $50,000.

Staffing additions

Nye County will also fill several positions in several departments in fiscal year 2018.

Total recommended staffing additions to the county totaled $201,712. The county will begin hiring after July 1 when the new fiscal year starts.

Among the positions that will be filled in the 2018 fiscal year are a principal planner, budgeted at $85,715; the assessor’s office, which needs a part-time clerk increased to full time and a part-time account clerk, totaling $30,000. In addition, officials plan to hire a part-time bailiff for Tonopah Justice Court for $18,656 and logistics officer for $67,341 for Emergency Management Services.

Nye County also saw $1.8 million in savings because of the 90-day hiring freezes. The money was the part of the ending fund balance.

“The majority of departments are staying the same,” Rucker said. “We are increasing positions and services and supply budgets in small increments to provide slow and stable growth.”

Contact reporter Daria Sokolova at dsokolova@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @dariasokolova77

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