Closing the books: $1.6 million surplus is likely

With strong tax revenue collections and spending under control, a surplus in the range of $1.6 million is anticipated by town financial officials at the close of the $125-million 2016-17 fiscal year.

The fiscal year ended June 30, but Controller Kevin Redmond said it will be a couple of months before all the accounts are closed out.

“We won’t finalize our numbers until late August, early September because up until then we will still be paying bills that relate to June 30 and prior,” he said.

“Revenues should be favorable by $1.3 million, primarily driven by taxes,” he told The Press last week.

Tax collections themselves are expected to be about $1.6 million ahead of projection, mostly as a result of last fall’s tax sale.

Counterbalancing that, income to the town from various state programs is expected to be down — about $870,000 below the $2.7 million that had been built into the budget when it was put together in the spring of 2016.  

More revenue

A few other accounts are likely to show more revenue than anticipated:

  • Recreation programs and the golf course, which Redmond expects to end the fiscal year about $170,000 above revenue projection;
  • The police department’s special services (paid when officers work private jobs ranging from roadside utility work to big public events) which is expected to $150,000 over budget expectation;
  • Interest income, about $130,000 ahead of projection;
  • Conveyance taxes on real estate sales, which are expected to be about $90,000 above budget.

Less spending

Also contributing to the anticipated surplus is spending, which is expected to total a little less than the $125 million approved by voters in May 2016.

“Expenses should be favorable by $300,000,” Redmond said.

This is primarily due to Board of Education spending about $100,000 less than the $90.4 million allocated, and another $100,000 in savings on town medical insurance and other employee benefits, Redmond said.

“And the rest from various other departments and some of driven by vacancies,” the controller added.

“Expenses could even come in more favorable but we really won’t know until a couple of months when we finish paying all the bills,” Redmond said.

“I’m projecting a net favorable of $1.6 million,” he said, when revenues and spending are totaled.

Board of Finance Chairman Dave Ulmer said the $1.6-million surplus projection is pretty close to what town officials had been anticipating for the 2016-17 fiscal year earlier this spring when they were completing the 2017-18 budget for voters.

“This is very much in line with the $1.5 million surplus we were expecting when we did the budget in April,” he said.

“We are still awaiting whatever might come out of the prolonged deliberations over the Connecticut state budget,” he said.