Thursday, June 06, 2013

Toledo claims $5.08 million budget surplus for 2012

According the following press release, the City of Toledo has completed their books for 2012 and is showing $5.08 million in surplus as of the end of the year.

What is not mentioned is whether or not any funds were transferred from the Capital Improvement Projects Fund (CIP) as planned in the original budget. The city originally budgeted a transfer of $12 million from the CIP into the General Fund to cover everyday expenses. If they transferred the full $12 million, it would bring the total amount diverted from the CIP to $62 million.

So if there is $5.08 million left over and the DID transfer $12 million, then they spent $7 million more than their income.

If they did NOT transfer any funds out of CIP and they've got $5.08 million left over, then they need to put that money back into the CIP to replace a small portion of the $50 million they've taken from the fund in the past several years.

I've emailed the city's public information officer to inquire about the CIP transfer. I'll let you know when I hear back.

Now that the year-end financials are finished, the auditors will review it and issue a final report.

Here is the press release:

Mayor Bell announces 2012 year end financials, $5 million fund balance anticipated

Mayor Michael P. Bell today announced the 2012 year end financials that have been sent to independent auditors for review and certification. Those figures include a report of income tax revenues totaling $158.5 million and an anticipated positive General Fund balance of $5.008 million.

“We’ve come a long way from where we started when I took office in 2010,” said Mayor Bell. “This city faced a $48 million budget deficit and that required us to make a lot of difficult and unpopular decisions over the last four years. If we had done nothing we would be in the same position as Detroit or Cincinnati. Instead we are seeing growth, increasing our safety forces, cleaning up neighborhoods and paving roads.”

The city faced a $48 million budget shortfall as Bell took office in 2010. Since that time, the city has worked to balance the budget and to restore the rainy day fund. Additionally, 165 police officers and 172 fire fighters will have been hired between 2010 and the end of 2013, more than the previous 12 years combined. The city in 2012 built a new fire station #6, and in 2013 will renovate fire station #3 and build a new fire station #12. More than 1,150 blighted structures have been demolished since 2010 to eliminate nuisances in Toledo neighborhoods.

In contrast, Detroit is facing bankruptcy and layoff of significant numbers in their safety forces. Cincinnati recently narrowly avoided police and fire layoffs after a one-time budget fix. Columbus in 2009 increased their income tax by 0.5% in order to restore services and forestall layoffs among safety forces. Toledo has not increased taxes or enacted mass layoffs under the Bell Administration. Unemployment in Toledo in January 2010 was 13.8% but has dropped to 8.4%; a net gain of approximately 4,500 jobs in the city.

The 2012 financials mark only the second time in a decade that the city’s General Fund ending balance has increased two years in a row. The city ended 2011 with a General Fund balance of $326,000. The strong financial position at the close of 2012 is attributed in part to income tax revenues coming in above budget and expenditure levels below budget.

In addition to the fire station construction, part of the City’s 2013 capital plan includes 61 lane miles of street repaving and reconstruction. Major street reconstruction is already underway on both Secor Road in west Toledo and Collingwood Boulevard in the central city. In total, $45 million will be invested in Toledo streets in 2013. Residential streets will comprise $10.5 million of that, or 22.8 lane miles. Due to the positive fund balance the Mayor has requested the Division of Engineering Services to compile recommendations for additional streets that could be addressed as part of the 2013 plan.

The 2012 financials have been submitted for review and await final confirmation from the independent auditor and the Ohio Auditor of State. Once certified they will be made available through publication of the comprehensive annual financial report. The city is projecting $163 million in income tax revenues for 2013, up from a 2009 low of $141 million, but still lagging from a 2007 high of $169 million.



James said...

The city has enough surplus money to fill potholes in my street. I've emailed and phoned them, and the city's done nothing about it.

Maggie Thurber said...

I'm sure the plotting for how to spend it all has already begun. If they're not going to do basic services (roads, primarily), they should return it to the CIP which they use to do...wait for it...ROADS!!!!

skeeter1107 said...

Unfortunately the average voter in Toledo will not read past the headline that states there is a surplus. I'm waiting for the conversations I can have with people when they tell me that one.

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