City tax revenues up, but still down

February 14, 2013

Sales tax numbers ticked up a bit last month, netting about $28,500 more than the same time last year.

According to city Finance Director Pam Burlingame, while the rise in revenue is good news, the city is still down 10.8 percent — approximately $500,000 — for the year.

“The increase may have something to do with Christmas money, people spending a little more,” Burlingame said. “But overall the numbers aren’t great.”

The city has two months left in its fiscal year, which ends March 31, and officials are currently putting together a trimmed-down budget to start the new year.

“Sales tax numbers definitely effect budget talks,” Burlingame said. “It won’t have any effect on city services, but we’ll have to put off major capital expenditures such as purchasing heavy equipment. The good thing is our department heads have always been good about watching their budgets and only buying what they need, rather than what they want.”

Burlingame said the city would be looking at “every nickel and dime” leaving its coffers.

“There are a lot of things (Sedalia City Council) will have to decide during the budget meeting,” she said. “But it is important to remember we have a very healthy fund balance of about $9 million and it’s for occasions like this that we have that balance. If we didn’t have that extra money in the bank, we would have to look at cutting services; it’s one of the reasons we keep (the balance) as high as possible.

“We’re not panicking about the numbers. They’re not great, but since we did go up last month, that does give us a little hope for the future.”

City officials will continue to watch sales tax figures and the council will start in-depth budget talks during its next meeting, set for Tuesday.