Approaching the midway point of Marysville’s 2017-2018 biennial budget, I am pleased to report that the city is managing your tax dollars well.
Marysville first adopted a biennial budget process in 2014, developing our first two-year budget for 2015-2016. This process provides city leadership a longer view for program planning and implementation while streamlining costs associated with budget development. Even though a new budget is no longer adopted every year, we continue to conduct an annual budget review to make adjustments if needed due to changing financial conditions, programs or laws that impact ongoing expenditures. I meet regularly with Finance Director Sandy Langdon and most recently discussed the annual budget review with her. So what’s the current picture? Sales tax income is trending seven percent higher than last year, mostly due to a healthy construction rate. A higher construction activity was anticipated in 2017. Both are tracking with the budget forecast. Property tax remains the largest revenue source, contributing about 34 percent of the city’s general fund. The county collects and the city receives property taxes twice a year, so it’s important that the city’s management team is very fiscally responsible, staying within budget and being completely mindful of cash flows. Overall we are currently tracking on budget, with revenues slightly outpacing expenditures and no departments over budget. Much like many of you do at home or at work, the city’s financial strategy is to build and maintain a reserve account to provide security and help buffer against the negative impacts of an emergency or economic downturn. Reserves are also used to extend your tax dollars by providing matching funds for grants from outside entities. Coupled with a cautious spending mindset, this represents responsible fiscal management. Due to our conservative budgeting practices and fiscal discipline over the past several years, the city of Marysville’s bond rating has been upgraded twice over the past two years. We are now rated Aaa2 by Moody’s. What this means for all of us as taxpayers is that fewer of our tax dollars go to interest on debt, allowing more money to be invested in public safety, streets, parks and other important services in our community.
Jon Nehring is the mayor of Marysville. His column runs monthly.