BOONVILLE – Boonville City Administrator outlined a projection of next year’s revenue in a memo to the Boonville City Council. He, along with the council, hope to continue to wean the General Revenue Fund off of Gaming Funds from the Isle of Capri Casino.
“I have often stated that the biggest problem the City has is the health of the General Fund Operating Budget. The central issue is the almost non-existence of (organic) revenue growth.
This phenomenon has plagued the city for many years. The city has utilized many adaptations and supplements over the years to always carry on one more year. The most prominent being the fact that we take an additional $680,000 per year to the General Fund operation from about $4.9 M total (near 15 percent) from gaming money,” Tessendorf stated. “We have eliminated close to 10 positions over 10 years through attrition — street department, police department, fire department, among others. We charge Water and Sewer a healthy administrative fee. We have limited COLA's to 2 percent for years. We do fund a good health insurance and retirement plan. We long ago eliminated all capital expenditures (big or small) from the General Fund. To illustrate, we can't even buy a $7,000 snow plow out of the General Fund.”
Below, Tessendorf outlined funding for 2017 with the new precipitated property tax billings. According to the memo, these billings were up about $3-4 thousand, but personal property billings were down about $I2,000. This is eight percent of $147 thousand.
Below are revenues the city receives on a yearly basis.
Surcharge- $62K- no info might increase $1-2 thousand.
Railroad and utilities - $45 thousand- Same at best- these big companies continuously fight to reduce this obligation
Electricity, Natural Gas license tax (Ameren)- S609K- it might grow a few thousand ($4-8 thousand) highly dependent on weather (temperature). Low price of natural gas
hurts a lot. Need Ameren rate increase, but they don't file as often as in the past. And when they
do, somehow the rate increase percentage gains by Ameren does not flow through in our taxes.
SBC Franchise Tax- $44 thousand- This is on landlines, has declined $15 thousand over last few years
Other Pbone Tax- $119 thousand- This is on wireless. It took years of litigation to get this passed. It showed healthy growth for 3-4 years. Seems to have topped out now. I decreased the amount budgeted in this year's budget.
Cable Tax- 19K- Stable at best
Water Meter Tax- $ I I thousand- No growth unless we raise the tax rate which we did a few years ago.
Cigarette Tax- $49K- Slow decline
Building Permits- $16 thousand- kind of stable- we raised a few years ago but they are still low.
Tendency to ask to have fee waived on large projects.
Court Finance Fees- $58 thousand- Has had some growth- topped out now. Brad does a decent job of maximizing revenue on tickets
Sales Tax- $1,370,000- This is the largest revenue. To support any real organic growth this number needs to grow annually over five percent. It does not. One to three percent is about it. We are simply not a shopping hub. We lose a lot of money to surrounding communities.
Our per capita tax is less than 15 average, reflecting this situation. Through seven months of the year we have received $835,193 vs. the first seven months of last year being $822,104, a gain of $13.089 (1.6 percent). This is not enough for a slight increase in health insurance.
Use Tax- The intent was to put most of this net tax to other projects. With some amount for the General Fund ($25-$50 thousand). The early returns are Ihat the tax will generate much less than projected.
Vehicle Fees and Tax- $IO thousand- Stable
Financial Institution Tax- $1.5 thousand- Stable
Miscellaneous- $19 thousand- No growth, variable anyway
Interest, etc. - $12.5 thousand- Self evident
Garage Labor Charges - $7 thousand- No growth
Gas Tax- $2 19 thousand- No growth
Special Road Tax- $79 thousand- May go up, $1-3K a year
Pool Fees and sales- $101 thousand- No growth
Hanger Fees- $96 thousand- No growth
Airport Gas Sales- $13 thousand- No growth (uncertain at that)
Rentals- $83 thousand- will go up a few thousand with SFCC. Tower rent has a prescribed COLA- still annual growth is very small
Grants- $11 thousand- regarding Mustang- no growth, has declined
Gaming Transfer- ($680 thousand)- Stated Council policy is to reduce reliance on gaming for operating costs
Tessendorf added that an increase of $50,000 to General Revenue will be a lot.