Emmitsburg Budget FY-06-07-08

June 21, 2007 at 5:48 am | Posted in Emmitsburg, Hold that line!, Laying it the line ;-) | Leave a comment

This email that follows was sent to Emmitsburg Commissioners and to Newspaper Reporters January 3rd, 2007. The Audit report March 19th 2007, for the FY ending June 30, 2006 had a surplus of over $100,000 which went into this years 07 budget as “found money” which the Town Govt. could spend at will without having to do budget transfers or Commissioner oversight.
That $100,000 plus unspent money amounted to almost a 7 cent surplus in the property tax rate of 36 cents as each 1 cent amounted to about $14,000 revenue in FY 2006. Or the town could have operated on 29 cents tax rate to have provided the services that they did supply.

In the Budget Message for FY 2008 there is no estimate of the amount of unspent surplus factored into the 08 budget.

Now each of the past 3 fiscal years there has been an increase in the sum of money that town residents pay for the priviledge of living in Emmitsburg. A 13 cent increase for the Emergency Service Fund, a 3 cent increase FY 2007 (via the increase of 3 cents over the constant yield rate) and the proposed FY 2008 3 cent increase (via the increase of 3 cents over the constant yield rate) Meaning the town gets more total money with out raising the tax rate.
Yet my propery tax bill for Emmitsburg rental properties is larger each and every year which means every one in town including low income residents (which we are trying to help afford a home) pays more rent which is driving long term residents out of town or even out of state.

It borders on the obscene that the Town of Emmitsburg cannot , in light of tremendous FY 2006 and Fy 2007 surplus, cannot operate on the same amount of money raised by the property tax each year. With huge surplus’s left over at the end of each FY the tax money extracted could actually be decreased to help keep citizens able to afford to live in Emmitsburg.
As the town keeps receiving more revenue , the “Affordable Housing” initative is further damaged. Rental property investors have to receive a reasonable return on their equity and they are in competition with other areas as to affordable housing so they may have to sell out and relocate or not even enter the Emmitsburg market in the first place if they cannot raise the rent to cover each increase in the tax bill on a given rental property.

Now I respectfully ask the Town Staff to tighten up on spending. The residents of the town have to adjust to changing income cash flow, so should the Town as it is not a god given right that tax revenue must go up just because Staff says it is so.
The town spends money like a drunken sailor. A christmas party which no one needs, a $25,000 playground that no one uses, no bid contracts which enriches the contractor, free water and sewer for emergency services, forgiveness for building fees, mowing the grass too often, donating to charity’s, etc. Its easy to tighten up if, if the commissioners have the fortitude to cut and slash and readjust.

From: ojmartin@gmail.com
Subject: Emmitsburg Budgets 2006, 2007, 2008
Date: January 3, 2007 7:13:11 AM EST
To: hooverje@msn.com, cvstaiger@verizon.net
Cc: richard_fulton@emmitsburgspirit.com, imjmezo@yahoo.com, jrada@thedispatch.us

The accountants report is now available for the Emmitsburg FY 2006 budget year that ended June 30, 2006.

Now (early 2007) is a good time to get the numbers from the accountant as to the amount of

surplus from FY2006 in the General Fund and the Enterprise Fund.

She should make a report in public as she did last year. What recommendations will she make about the budget process?

These funds must be separately broken out to see how much carryover funds are available this year (FY2007) to add to the rainy day funds for the two major accounts (General fund and Enterprise fund) or what ever is decided on how to spend the funds.

As part of the budget process there should be an estimate made as to the surplus projected in the budget on June 30 2007 so that can be incorporated in the 2008 budget.

Also the preliminary deliberations for budget for 2008 which starts July 1. 2007 is to be announced in a January 2007 meeting by the Mayor and Staff per request by council at a previous meeting.

PS; The City of Frederick has their report already available (by the same accounting firm as Emmitsburg) and they had a $3M surplus for last fiscal year which they placed in their “rainy day fund”

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