Oneonta City Council members approved the city’s 2015 fiscal budget with a projected surplus of $891 on expenditures of $6,905,409. While the council had no debate on the plan in the regular meeting on Sept. 23, members have met in numerous work sessions, all of which were open to the public, over the last few weeks. The total revenue projection exceeds the 2014 budget by $170,000 and is almost $50,000 more than the 2011 budget, the highest of the past five years.
The top revenue source is the city’s sales tax, budgeted at $4,075,000. Other major sources include: business licenses ($870,000), ad valorem taxes ($400,000), police fines ($287,500), and recreation income ($145,000). The use tax, the only other in excess of $100,000, is listed at $195,000. The budget projects $800 in beer excise tax, the same as in fiscal 2014, and none from spirits tax.
As for expenditures by departments, the plan budgets $1,684,000 for general government, with capital outlay the top expenditure there at $586,000. General salaries follow next in that broad category at $370,000. (This does not include the mayor and council’s salaries of $33,000.) The only other breakdowns in that category above $50,000 are insurance-general ($280,000) and Alatax (the tax and fee collection service with which the city contracts) fees at $70,000. The general government category, while the single largest expenditure in the 2015 budget, reflects a decrease of a little more than $20,000 from fiscal 2014.
Salaries account for the single largest expenditure in all of the departments. The police, the second highest department expenditure, has an increase of $50,000 to $1,365,500, followed by fire at $1,086,700 (an increase of $83,700).
The street department follows next at $817,009 and debt service at $641,450, with park and recreation ($397,500), library ($268,000), sanitation ($245,000), other, which are primarily contributions to governmental bodies and other non-profits, ($208,250), and building inspection ($192,000). All, except general government and sanitation (level), enjoyed some increases in funding. The 2014 budget, not concluded at press time, reflected an anticipated surplus of $50,010.