Hilliard Northwest News

Financial report

Delande: City had 'stable' second quarter

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Hilliard's revenue was slightly more than projected and expenses slightly less than predicted for the first six months of 2014.

"We're pleased whenever revenue exceeds expenses," Finance Director David Delande said.

As of June 30, the city had collected general-fund revenue of $11.9 million, 55.6 percent of the estimate for the entire year, a pace that if matched in the second half of the year would result in revenue collections more than 10 percent in excess of the $21.4 million estimate.

Within the overall general fund, income-tax revenue also is ahead of projections, Delande said.

The continuing migration of employees to the Verizon Wireless corporate office on Britton Parkway is a chief reason that income-tax collections are up 13 percent in the first six months of 2014 compared with the same period last year, Delande said.

The city's income-tax revenue includes a 2 percent tax on the amount of revenue a business reports as profit.

In the first six months of 2014, the city collected $3.1 million from the business net-profit tax, a 74 percent increase compared with the $1.8 million collected in the first six months of last year.

"We think this is a great reflection of the recovering economy, at least in this area," Delande said.

The withholding tax revenue is up 2 percent and individual income-tax collections are down 5 percent, but all three components combined for a 13 percent increase in income-tax revenue the first half of 2014, Delande said.

"We had a very stable second quarter," Delande said.

He said the city also had an increase in fees collected for building permits and associated inspections

The $11.9 million in general-fund revenue collected through June 30 represents a 3 percent increase compared with the first six months of 2013, but city officials will place 68 percent of income-tax revenue in the general fund as opposed to the 69 percent allocated in 2013.

The general-fund expenses in the first six months of 2014, at $9.1 million, represent an increase from the $8.8 million spent from Jan. 1 to June 30, 2013.

The $9.1 million is almost 43 percent of the estimated $21.4 million in general fund expenses for 2014, a pace that if equaled would result in expenses less than 90 percent of what was projected.

But Delande said that is unlikely.

"I think we will finish in the mid-90s," said Delande, indicating expenditures would be about 95 percent of the budgeted expenses.

Expenses are likely to level off or slightly exceed those of the first six months of the year because the city will pay retroactive salary increases associated with the new contract with the Fraternal Order of Police, Delande said.

The city also will receive a small unexpected amount of revenue from the Franklin County Auditor's Office.

"We should get about $10,000 to $15,000 back," Delande said

County Auditor Clarence Mingo has refunded $10.5 million to school districts, municipalities, townships, villages and other agencies. The money was saved during the triennial update of property values, according to the auditor's office.

The refunds are based on property-tax millage, so school districts benefit the most. Hilliard City Schools received almost $660,000.

The city of Hilliard's effective rate on property tax is 1.6 mills.

The money will be returned to the general fund, Delande said.

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