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Nye projected budget shortfall cut again

Nye County’s top official said the county’s projected budget shortfall is receiving some unforeseen relief from higher than projected sales and property tax revenues.

County Manager Pam Webster said The general fund budget shortfall for fiscal year 2017 is now $476,382, down from the $1.5 million that was released in March.

“Which is considerably better than what we were looking at previously,” Webster said.

Webster told the county commission on Tuesday that from June 2015 through January the county collected $7.1 million in consolidated taxes.

“If you average that over those months, it’s $1.1 million per month,” she said.

“For purposes of what we are doing, I projected $1.1 million out for the remaining five months …and that takes us up to right around $12.1 million for the year,” Webster said.

The number however will get more “refined” through the year, because sales tax is paid on a lag basis. The county currently has actual numbers only through January.

While general fund revenues continue to decrease, dropping from $33.2 million in fiscal 2016 to a projected $32.7 million, expenditures are projected to increase from $31.9 million last budget to $33.1 million for the 2017 fiscal year. The final county budget is due to the state in May with the fiscal year beginning July 1.

“I want to continue to work through the numbers to make sure that I feel comfortable with what we are projecting there and I’m not overstating, but I’m not grossly understating either,” she said.

The projections for property taxes are “considerably higher” than what the county had been using, Webster said.

Real property taxes for 2017 are projected to be $7.9 million while personal and centrally assessed property taxes are projected to be $3 million.

“I looked at the number that we were projecting for (fiscal year) ‘16, and we are collecting right on schedule, so I think that’s a good solid number.”

Commissioner Lorinda Wichman requested Webster look into the charges for services and licenses and permits. Fines and forfeitures are projected to be much higher than fiscal year 2017 projections, she said.

Webster will give commissioners another update at the April 19 meeting.

“And at that time then, we can discuss any major changes that we would have to incorporate to balance this,” she said. “But I think, along some of the lines of what we had discussed before, I think we can get reasonably close and have a contingency and still balance this budget based on what I’m seeing now, without taking it to a layoff status.”

Webster is the interim comptroller, filling the position since Amy Fanning’s departure last month. The county is currently searching for a replacement for Fanning.

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

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