The fiscal year 2015 budget is structurally unchanged from fiscal year 2014. Increases in costs are accounted for, as well as, losses of revenues. Most of the uncomfortable factors that led to last year’s rate increase have all been accounted for in this year’s budget by reducing the transfer to the undesignated fund. Now that the undesignated fund is partially recovered, small increases in outside organizational funding and loss of revenue can be buffered by budgeting the undesignated fund appropriately.
The town operating and capital budget (the capital budget was separated from the operating budget in FY 2013) has remained incredibly stable over the last five years, as demonstrated in Table 1. Management’s proposed budget is actually less than the budget five years ago.
|Table 1||Town Capital and Operating Budget||Annual Increas %|
|Average Five Year Increase||-0.14%|
As demonstrated by the rate increase last year, other major components of the tax levy continue to rise and revenues have become extremely unstable in the past few years. Revenue sharing has decreased 58% since FY 2010. Investment interest has dropped 40% since FY 2010. Generally, the undesignated fund is the best component to buffering these factors but the undesignated fund has been reduced to unsustainable levels. Last year’s rate adjustment will have a multiyear impact. As long as school and county budgets only increase marginally, the town should be able to endure minor instability in revenues.
Structural changes have allowed the town to continue operating without budget increases in previous years. Many of those structural opportunities have already been realized. Efficiencies have been found in the previous three years in energy, fuel, and purchasing allowing minimal savings that will be realized.
Click on the budget links for detailed budget information: