County sales tax revenues on the rise

COTTONWOOD - Yavapai County sales tax revenues continue to recover from the economic collapse of 2007, according to graphs the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors viewed Monday during their first joint briefing for the coming budget year.

Yavapai County Administrator Phil Bourdon prepared a detailed PowerPoint presentation for the board Monday before it starts four straight days of meetings with department heads today.

County staff is estimating that county sales tax revenues will increase by seven percent for the coming fiscal year that starts July 1 over the current year. The current year is showing a 6.7 percent rise.

State-shared sales tax revenues rose better this year than the county anticipated, at 6.3 percent so far compared to the forecasted four percent.

"They're slowly showing recovery from the economic downturn," Bourdon said after the meeting.

Overall county revenues for the coming fiscal year are expected to meet or exceed the current year, he said, but they still haven't returned to FY2006-2007 levels.

Total county limited property values for property tax purposes have dropped 0.7 percent because of a decrease in the value of "centrally valued property," which is property that crosses multiple jurisdictions such as utility lines and pipes.

Anticipated revenues from the federal and state governments include $2.2 million in federal Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT in lieu of property taxes on federal lands), $550,000 from state lottery revenues, and $467,000 in partially restored HURF (Highway Users Revenue Fund) money that the state collects through gas taxes and vehicle registration fees. The county used to get more like $119 million from HURF.

At the same time, the state is continuing to force the county to cover 34 percent of the costs of treating sexually violent persons in state mental facilities past their prison sentences, and 100 percent of the cost of housing prisoners that officials are trying to restore to mental competency for trial.

And a new state break on electricity costs for manufacturers will cost the county about $121,000 next year. Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a line item that would have helped counties partially offset this cost.

This year's county budget is $191 million, and supervisors didn't talk Monday about whether they want to increase it next year.

County officials don't anticipate any Affordable Care Act impacts in the coming fiscal year, and they expect health insurance rates to rise only 1.5 percent.

County department head requests include $1.4 million to catch up on fleet replacement vehicles and $1 million for building maintenance and improvements.

Department heads want 22 new employees after losing 160 full-time positions since 2007.

Aug. 4 is the date county officials hope for a final Board of Supervisors vote on the budget.

Follow Joanna Dodder on Twitter @joannadodder


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