Marana’s general fund revenue seems likely to increase in fiscal 2008-09, up $3.2 million, or 9 percent, to $38.4 million.

In the first of several planned meetings, officials met last week to study the town’s fiscal 2008-09 budget, which will go into effect July 1.

The town council likely will approve the full spending plan, including capital projects and other expenses, by June 17.

Last year, Marana budgeted for $210 million in expenses, about $35.2 million of which went to paying for day-to-day town operations.

The general fund is the largest of several pots of money available to the town, according to Marana Finance Director Erik Montague.

The $38.4 million general fund is fed by three primary sources: transaction privilege taxes, or taxes charged to sellers of goods and services; state funding; and from the issuance of development-related fees and licenses.

The other 10 percent comes from a combination of miscellaneous taxes and fees, such as court payments, Montague said.

Transaction privilege tax can be thought of as a kind of sales tax, which is charged to the seller instead of the buyer.

The 2009 estimates suggest the town will see a $1.4 million increase to $20.5 million.

State-shared revenues represent a municipality’s cut in Arizona’s taxes.

Like other areas of the general fund, the amount of money Marana receives greatly depends on the overall state of the economy. In fiscal 2008-09, the town expects to get $7.7 million, or an additional $300,000 through shared revenue.

Development-related revenue, which includes business licenses and housing permits, will take the biggest hit, according to town projections.

Officials expect development revenue to decrease by 35 percent, or $1.7 million, mainly due to the downturn in the housing market.

Capital improvement and carryover projects are projected to siphon $6.1 million from the general fund reserve, which estimates an ending balance of $16.1 million, or 47 percent of the fund.

Town Manager Mike Reuswaat’s budget calls for a limit on new and expanded programs so the town can maintain those already in place.

It also calls for a $1.7 million increase in the cost of paying employee benefits.

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