Town council reviews Q2 budget

The Marana Town Council reviewed the municipality’s second-quarter budget results during its Feb. 21 meeting, and, according to financial director Yiannis Kalaitzidis, said they are favorable.

“I’m happy to report that through December we continue to do very well,” Kalaitzidis said regarding revenue. “We continue to do better than we anticipated in most of the categories. Specifically, our general fund is at 55% of where we anticipated it to be.”

The council expects the town to be halfway to its revenue goals around this time of year, and the numbers suggest that it is ahead of its projections.

Along with the general fund, town revenue comes from a variety of avenues, including HURF (Highway User Revenue Fund), transportation fund, bed tax fund, half-cent sales tax, water fund, water reclamation fund and the airport fund.

Kalaitzidis stated that almost every fund on the revenue side is performing to expectations, if not higher, for this time of year.

“The only area we’re underperforming is single-family residential,” Kalaitzidis said. “The good news is that some of that shortfall is being made up on the commercial side.”

It’s also helping the transportation fund, which has met 100% of its budgeted revenue.

Town expenses, Kalaitzidis said, are average for Q2. In the first two quarters for FY 2022, the town’s personnel and benefits costs were at $14.8 million. This current year, that number increased to about $22.5 million. The director offered two reasons for the increase.

The first being the town’s compensation study of 2022, which created increases for personnel to stay competitive with market wages. The second involved $6 million used to pay down the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System unfunded liability.

“Though every day we are seeing cracks in the economy, the economy continues to be strong, and we continue to see good numbers coming out in our revenues.”

Looking at fiscal year 2024, Councilmember Roxanne Ziegler confirmed that medical, dental and vision insurances would increase for personnel costs, with Kalaitzidis estimating a 10% increase.

The Marana Town Council projected conservatively last January about the state of the 2023 budget, Kalaitzidis stating it will only have $500,000 of ongoing revenue after expenses. He was cautiously optimistic that the numbers would improve, especially after receiving new information about state-shared income tax.

“I know it was the wish and desire of everyone here to have us consider new positions,” Kalaitzidis said. “We believe with the new ongoing revenues that we have projected that we will be able to entertain all increases.”

This includes increases for existing Marana staff but also the new positions that may be initiated next fiscal year, a normal part of the budget creation process.

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