Edmond City Council starts on new city budget

The city council held its first workshop to start talking about the budget for 2013-2014. City officials have additional money this year because sales tax collections have been up the first seven months of the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
by Diana Baldwin Published: January 30, 2013
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Officials are calling this year's sales tax growth “unprecedented” as they begin building a budget for the next fiscal year, which begins in July.

For the first seven months of the fiscal year, Edmond has had a 19.31 percent sales tax revenue growth when compared to the previous one. Edmond has received $35,921,986 in sales tax revenue.

Edmond officials calculated a 3 percent growth in this year's budget.

Council members met in a workshop this week to start discussions on how to calculate the new budget.

Ross VanderHamm, city finance director and city clerk, suggested figuring next year's budget by using the figures from the 2011-2012 fiscal year because sales tax collections were more realistic.

The additional sales tax collections this year have been attributed to the large number of roof repairs following a summer hailstorm and several one-time large purchases. Officials don't think that rate of sales tax will continue now that most of the roofs have been repaired.

VanderHamm suggested using the previous year's sales tax returns with a 6 percent growth in next year's budget. He said the city could actually end up with a 10.76 percent growth for this year.

“This would be more actual information,” VanderHamm said. “Part of the problem, I am extremely conservative and that is not fair to the departments. I want to be as realistic as we can be, but want to be conservative.”

VanderHamm calculated that from the first seven months of this fiscal year the city has an additional $858,000 to spend. He asked if council members wanted to save the money to build up the reserve budget or spend it on projects that were not included in this year's budget.

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by Diana Baldwin
Sr. Reporter
Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976 and came to The Oklahoman in 1991. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote...
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