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Thread: Catt.Co. County surplus grows to record amount

  1. #1
    Member gonerail's Avatar
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    Aug 2007

    Wink Catt.Co. County surplus grows to record amount

    LITTLE VALLEY - Cattaraugus County’s surplus grew by $3.3 million in 2007 to a record $24.8 million, County Treasurer Joseph G. Keller reported Wednesday.

    The surplus grew from $21.4 million at the end of 2006 to $24.8 million at the end of last year, a 15.7 percent increase, Mr. Keller said. Of the $24.8 million, $19.6 million is undesignated, a $2.4 million increase over 2006.

    Better-than-expected fourth quarter sales tax revenues, higher investment returns and lower Social Services costs were some of the chief reasons for the surplus, the treasurer told county lawmakers.

    The county’s 2007 sales tax receipts were $1 million over the $21.5 million that was budgeted, Mr. Keller said. Most of that $1 million came in the fourth quarter, thanks to increased Christmas sales and snow on the slopes of Ellicottville that brought skiers.

    The county treasurer said the undesignated fund balance (surplus) of $19.6 million represents 14.7 percent of the county budget.

    “This amount is in line with the recommended threshold of 15 percent,” he added. The 2008 county budget is $188 million.

    Mr. Keller listed several significant factors that affected the 2007 county budget:

    - Social Services expenditures were $2 million below budget estimates.

    - Interest on investments was $892,000 higher than the $1 million projection.

    - Interest on real property tax revenue was $213,000 above the $1.4 million projected.

    - Sales tax revenues were $1 million above the $21.5 million projected.

    - Worker’s compensation benefits were $1 million over budget.

    n None of the $1.5 million in surplus budgeted to reduce the tax levy was used.

    n The county transferred $1.8 million to the county nursing homes to offset operating deficits and capital projects.

    County Legislature Chairman Crystal Abers, R-South Dayton, said she was pleased with the treasurer’s initial 2007 financial report.

    “It is good,” she said. “It shows we live within our budget. We’re in good shape.”

    Vice Chairman Michael O’Brien, R-Portville, chairman of the Finance Committee, agreed it was a good report, but noted it cost the county $17 million a month to operate. The undesignated surplus is just over one month’s expenses, he pointed out.

    Mr. O’Brien admitted he had been a little concerned after the third quarter report that sales tax revenues might come in lower than projected for the year.

    “That fourth quarter surprised me,” he said. “We were low on the sales tax until that last quarter.”

    He also said he was pleased with the $1 million increase in interest on investments.

  2. #2
    Member Linda_D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    God's Own Country ... the Southern Tier
    $2 million less in Social Services expenditures tells me that more Catt County residents are working more and making more, which is good news indeed. I don't suppose that nasty old Seneca Allegany casino might have something to do with it ...

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