Hilliard Northwest News

Delande: 2013 budget surplus remains likely

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Hilliard remains on target for a balanced budget and probable surplus for 2013, according to Finance Director David Delande.

Delande delivered a third-quarter financial report Oct. 21 to Hilliard City Council's Finance and Administration Committee.

He said the city is trending toward a $1.1 million general-fund surplus in 2013.

"Revenues for operating funds exceeded expenditures after the third quarter (of 2013)," Delande said. "We will monitor both revenues and expenditures to bring in a balanced budget at the end of the year."

Through Sept. 30, Hilliard had collected $10.5 million in municipal income-tax revenue. That is 79.6 percent of the estimated amount, almost five percentage points in excess of the 75 percent expected by the end of the third quarter.

The city's total general-fund revenue through Sept. 30, of which municipal income taxes account for 69 percent, is $16.5 million, and is 81 percent of the total general-fund revenue estimated for 2013.

The city met or exceeded 75 percent of estimated revenue in all but one of seven sources: interest on investments.

Despite lowering estimates each year since 2007, the city will fail to come even close to the estimated interest revenue of $63,000.

Through Sept. 30, the city had earned $11,294, or 18 percent of the estimate.

In 2007, Hilliard earned $862,489 on its investments.

Figures look good on the other side of the ledger, too, Delande said.

Through Sept. 30, the city's expenditures were at $13.8 million, or 67.8 percent of estimated expenses, about seven percentage points under budget.

"At the end of the third quarter, you want to be at or above 75 percent in collected revenue (and) at or below 75 percent for expenses, and we've met both," Delande said.

At the start of 2013, the city's general-fund cash reserve accrued from carryovers in previous budgets was $4.9 million. If trends continue in the fourth quarter, the city will add to its rainy-day fund.

In his previous term, Mayor Don Schonhardt set a goal of maintaining a cash reserve equal to 25 percent of the city's general-fund operating expenses.

Next year's budget will for the first time include a line item for the cash reserve to be maintained at an amount equal to 25 percent of the current year's operating budget, Delande said.

"We've weathered the storm ... this report clearly shows significant economic growth in our city," City Council President Brett Sciotto said.

"I think it (also) demonstrates fiscal prudence," Council Vice President Kelly McGivern said.

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