Tuesday, January 27, 2015

West Buechel's totally bizarre budget

Budgeting is a guessing game. First you guess how much income you will be receiving in the coming year and then you guess how much it will cost to do what you want. Budget control is an ongoing process every month to make adjustments to spending and revenue generation so as to avoid an imbalance between the two.

Government should not spend money it does not have and it should not tax more than what is useful and justified.

West Buechel's last City budget ended on June 30, 2013 and there has not been a new budget considered or officially adopted by the City Council since then. From July 1, 2013 until the present day, West Buechel has been operating on a City budget voted on in May, 2012 . . .  nearly three years ago. The old budget continues in effect, by operation of KRS, until a new budget is adopted later this year sometime.

That's not the bizarre part.

According to the City's audited financial reports from years past, West Buechel received $1.38 million in revenue for FY 2011-2012.   

Former Mayor Fowler's FY 2012-2013 City budget estimated City revenue to be $1.2 million.

In actual fact, the City collected $1.58 million in revenue in FY 2012-2013.

Mayor Fowler's 2012-2013 City budget undestimated the City's revenue by $374, 328. This seems so bizarre because the revenue estimate for FY 2012-2013 was $180,000 lower than was actually collected in FY 2011-2012, for no apparent reason. The numbers don't make any sense.

But, if you look at Mayor Fowler's FY 2012-2013 estimate of revenue and compare it to the audited financial statement, you can notice something interesting.

Not only does Mayor Fowler's budget underestimate property tax receipts, occupational tax receipts, insurance tax receipts and net profit tax receipts, it also wholly leaves out any mention of receipts from code enforcement parking citations and from grants.

In FY 2012-2013 parking citations and grants brought in $133,000, up from $89,000 the year before. Just forgetting about those revenue sources in the FY 2012-2013 budget was a strange thing to do.

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