City News

The city’s revenue is up, despite some drops in areas.

The city of Sedona recently released its monthly tax report for May. Tax reports are a few months behind the current month due to when individual reports are filed and the time it takes to compile them.

For the year so far, the city’s sales tax revenue is up 9 percent over last year. This, combined with bed taxes, which are up 28 percent year-to-date over last year, make up most of the city’s revenue. These numbers put the general fund 36 percent up over last year-to-date.

However, when an adjustment is made for the difference year-to-year regarding the difference in how a Wastewater Fund subsidy is recorded, the general fund is up 9 percent over last year.

The city notes that most numbers in the revenue category should be up over last year, with a few exceptions. The largest decrease is in the Fines and Forfeitures category, which the city said
is 52 percent under the yearto-date target. This is due to a drop in court fines of 17 percent from last fiscal year as well as a delay in paid parking implementation. Finally, a “significant writeoff of late fees” was applied to wastewater accounts.

The next largest drop in revenue is in the miscellaneous category, which is 26 percent under the year-to-date target. A storm drainage agreement is one main cause for this, in addition to the lower interest earnings and losses of Local Government Investment Pool accounts.

The general fund number is in part so high compared to last year because, “An accounting change was made in the recording of city sales taxes in fiscal year 2017. Previously, the portion of city sales tax designated for the Wastewater Fund subsidy was recorded as revenue in the Wastewater Fund. For FY 2017, the entire city sales tax collections are recorded in the general fund, and the subsidy to the Wastewater Fund is recorded as a transfer,” along with accounting for a growing economy, the report states.

The total effect of the changes represents an increase in revenues of approximately $5 million. For 2017 year-to-date, the fund is at $22.77 million, versus $16.74 million in 2016 over the same timeframe.

City sales tax numbers total $14.73 million for the yearto-date ending in May versus $13.57 million during 2016.


On the expenditure side, the general fund is spending more, up to $14.4 million year-to-date in May over $12.99 million in the same time in 2016. Part of this, roughly $818,000, comes from a transfer to the general fund most expenditures that were related to streets. Three full-time and two part-time staffers also joined the city for $327,000, along with city salary and benefit increases costing $660,000. A city pension for pubic safety employees was the largest increase in benefits.

The updated land development code also budgeted in at $200,000 in the general fund and $241,000 was put in for capital outlay expenditures. The total increase in spending over last year-to-date amounts to 11 percent, with a 21 percent increase projected for the year. To read the full report, go to the city’s website.


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