Posted by: John Shryock - bio | email
Written by: Eileen Jones - bio | email
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The city of Montgomery ended the 2009 fiscal year with $3 million more than it had anticipated, but officials are urging citizens not to get too excited about the news. There are no plans to spend those dollars.
Shopping malls are Montgomery's main source of revenue, and when shopping goes down so does the money coming into the city from sales taxes.
"In fiscal year '09 is when it began to slide on us. Fy 09 was our bad year," said City Finance Director Lloyd Faulkner.
Faulkner says this past fiscal year was so bad it came well under his estimate. "I had estimated for 09 about $93 million..." and he got $84 million, 9 million less than what he predicted.
So how it is the city ended the past fiscal year in the black instead of the red?
"We made up some of that by getting more money, collecting more money in sales, not sales taxes, ad valorem tax and business license," Faulkner explained. "So, that reduced that deficit somewhat."
The city also cut its spending by 2 percent across the board and that resulted in the extra $3 million the city hadn't counted on.
Instead of spending it, however, it's now in the city's reserve fund or savings account.
"We should keep a quarters worth of operating money on hand at any given time. I had 32-million at one time and the last two years it got depleted," Faulkner said. "So, I'm in the process of trying to build that back and starting with the $3 million, $3.1 million."
Faulkner does not know how sales are going for the current fiscal year because it's just too early. This fiscal year started on October 1st. Answers could come sometime in November when the October figures are finalized.