Mayor Bell announces year end financials, surplus anticipated
Mayor Michael P. Bell today announced the year end financials that have been sent to independent auditors for review and certification. Those figures include a report of income tax revenues totaling $153.58 million and an anticipated surplus of $326,000 to be directed to the budget stabilization fund.
“Three years ago I said that by applying well established management principles the City of Toledo could get our budget under control while preserving the services government was created to deliver: police, fire, refuse collection, street improvements and parks,” said Mayor Bell. “My administration has worked hard to ensure we continue to provide these services to residents of the city without increasing taxes, without mass layoffs and through greater partnership with public and private entities.”
Facing a projected $48 million deficit in 2010 when Bell took office, the city engaged unions in difficult but necessary negotiations for concessions; implemented benchmarking and best practice analysis to streamline services; divested services that were not provided efficiently by the city, but were accessible through private partners; and worked with local governments around the region to determine where we could mutually benefit from shared services.
“The city was not able to achieve this alone, our unions played a vital role that cannot be overlooked. Our municipal neighbors facing many of the same challenges were open to collaborating with us, and though change is often difficult, our citizens were patient as we looked for the best way to continue providing them with services they deserve and without increasing taxes,” Bell added.
The administration cautioned that there are still challenges ahead as the city works to wean itself off of reliance on capital improvements funding. While 2012 will be an ambitious year with $28 million in road repair projects and a total of $60 million in capital improvements, the city cannot and should not continue to rely on capital funds as a stop gap for still lagging revenues.
“Ideally our bond agencies would like to see the city demonstrate a permanent source of revenue and an end to our reliance on capital funds to support operations,” said finance director Patrick McLean. “I’ve very pleased with the financial management and oversight that we’ve been able to implement over the last two years. It was a bit of a culture change for some in our system, but our financial situation is stronger and more stable as a result.”
The 2011 financials have been submitted to independent auditors for review. Once certified they will be made available through publication of the comprehensive annual financial report. The city is projecting $156 million in income tax revenues for 2012, up from a 2009 low of $141 million, but still lagging from a 2007 high of $169 million.