While larger and older Pima County municipalities struggle to stay afloat, Marana’s preliminary year-end budget shows the town is riding high, with $2.04 million in the black. The town even did slightly better than its neighbors in Oro Valley, who ended the year with a $1.9 million surplus in their general budget.
Marana ended fiscal year 2017 collecting $42.8 million in revenue, 104 percent of the budgeted amount. The $1.6 million surplus was largely due to revenue from licenses, fees and permits, one of the town’s big three revenue sources.
That revenue stream continued its upward trend of 8.3 percent yearly, and finished at 120 percent of the anticipated budget, or $4.8 million in revenue. Single-family residential permits are a large part of that fund. Marana budgeted for 550 permits but ended the year with 687—23 percent higher than the previous fiscal year.
The first quarter of fiscal year 2018 has already seen 188 single-family residential permits, exceeding the upward yearly trend.
“So we’re moving at a reasonable clip again this fiscal year,” said Erik Montague, Marana’s finance director, during a budget presentation to the Town Council on Oct. 3.
All three big revenue sources—along with sales tax and state shared revenue—represent 95 percent of Marana’s revenue. The shared revenue continues to trend upward at 17 percent each year because of steady population growth, and ended at $10.7 million, or 99 percent of the anticipated budget.
“As long as the economy’s growing, and we grow faster than everybody else, our revenues will continue to increase,” Montague said.
The sales tax revenue continued its 4.6 percent upward trend, as new retail stores continue to move into the town, ending the year at 105 percent of the anticipated budget, at $25.3 million. All other revenues came to $1.9 million, 88 percent of the anticipated budget.
Expenditures all increased from 2016, but remained under budget. Total general fund expenditures were $40.7 million, $7.5 million under budget at 84 percent what was expected. The largest expense by far was personnel and benefits at $25.9 million, a 5 percent increase from 2016 and 95 percent of what was budgeted for. The second largest expense is contracted services to pay consultants who work on community projects, coming in at $5 million.
The third greatest expense was the cost of operating supplies and equipment, at $5.2 million, only 55 percent of what was budgeted for. The miscalculation was due in part to the $2 million allocated for the new police facility. The town only spent about $200,000 so far, and the remaining $1.8 million will rollover to fiscal year 2018.
A few other major funds include the bed tax fund for tourism, the Highway User Revenue Fund, the temporary half-cent sales tax increase, the water operating fund and the wastewater operating fund.
The bed tax fund continues to grow 10.3 percent yearly because the average overall monthly occupancy and nightly rates at tourist lodgings continue to increase.
Revenue—$1.2 million; 126 percent of anticipated budget
Expenditures—$862,367; 92 percent of anticipated budget
The HURF is the portion of state gas taxes redistributed back to the community based on population. It continued its 18.1 percent yearly upward trend. The HURF expenditures are mainly for one-time capital projects, like street improvements and expensive equipment. This year, the town bought a semi truck and a patch truck for street repair.
Revenue—$3.1 million; 100 percent of anticipated budget
Expenditures—$3.6 million; 93 percent of anticipated budget
The temporary half-cent sales tax increase aims to raise $18 million for Marana’s new police facility. The town’s optimistic 2017 budget was $6 million. The town came up short, but within 2 percent of its more conservative estimate.
Overall, Marana is at 57 percent of the funding target in 61 percent of the time and anticipate reaching its goal in 12 to 14 months. Expenditures will meet projections in the first quarter of fiscal year 2018, as the project really gets going.
The water operating fund exceeded the anticipated budget because water sales were higher than expected. The fund ended the year with $1.1 million in reserves.
Revenue—$5.3 million; 116 percent of anticipated budget
Expenditures—$4.2 million; 86 percent of anticipated budget
The wastewater operating fund is one where the expenditures exceeded the revenue, but only by $10,620.
Revenue—$1.1 million; 92 percent of anticipated budget
Expenditures—$1.1 million; 92 percent of anticipated budget