City faces $400,000 in state funding cuts in upcoming fiscal year

City of Kingman officials say they will continue to think conservatively in light of a decrease of at least $400,000 in state funds for the fiscal 2004 budget.

The city will continue all services while picking up some items formerly paid with state money.

Expensive street and infrastructure capital projects will be postponed until the revenue picture improves.

City Manager Roger Swenson said the 2004 budget is much like the 2003 budget with the city continuing conservative estimates of revenue and holding spending in check.

The biggest loss of state shared revenue will be $350,000 less from income taxes, city finance director Coral Loyd said.

The reason is less income taxes collected statewide, she said.

"Mohave County citizens paid more income tax to the state," Loyd said.

"But the amount returned is based on population, not collections, and we received less."

The state cut funding for a special anti-gang law enforcement unit, but the program will continue.

Kingman lost a $50,000 grant but will use general fund revenues to continue joint efforts with other law enforcement agencies in the county.

As part of the state 2004 budget enacted this past week, the Legislature increased the state's share of fines collected by city courts.

The new fiscal year for local and state governments begins July 1.

"The state has always taken the majority of the court fine money from the Magistrate Court," Loyd said.

"They are not reducing our share but taking a larger percent of any increase."

One of the Legislature's final acts was to increase the state's share of locally collected fines by adding on 75 percent of any increase from year to year.

Loyd said the 75 percent of increased collections would not be a large number.

The city budgeted for only a $2,000 increase for fiscal 2004.

The portion of fines kept in the city budget has increased from $249,000 during fiscal 2001 to an estimated $262,000 for the 2004 budget.

Although exact numbers were not available, Loyd said the state always gets more than the city keeps.

The city has paid for the remodeling of the Magistrate Court with the addition of a second courtroom.

The city has hired a third attorney to handle the caseload.

The majority of the cases heard in city court involve driving under the influence or domestic violence, City Attorney Bob Taylor said.

The Kingman City Council increased the funding for Kingman Resource Center and the Salvation Army to $28,000.

The money helps people stranded in Kingman.

Funding of restaurant inspections and other Mohave County Health Department services in the city will continue to get $74,000 from the city budget.

Loyd said that as far as she knows, no other city in the county continues to support the health department.

City funding is now optional.

Kingman budgeted $35,000 to cover sales taxes and permits for the Mohave County Sheriff's Office under construction on Beale Street.

The City Council also contributed water and sewer installation to the site and will do the same when the administrative building is built.

"We made a commitment to help the county by waiving fees and getting water and sewer to sites," Mayor Les Byram said.

"It benefits Kingman to keep those facilities here."