City revenue running<BR>ahead of budget estimates

Mid-year revenue for the city of Kingman is exceeding budget estimates, financial director Coral Loyd said.

"Overall, both local and state revenues appear to be in line with the national economy and the economic recovery that was predicted," Loyd said.

Kingman collected 6 to 8 percent more local sales taxes from July 1 through Dec.

31 than during the same period a year earlier.

Record levels of residential and commercial construction have driven the increased collections.

Builders pay the 2-percent city sales tax on materials.

Construction materials contribute about 10 percent of the sales tax revenue, and that portion was up 15 percent during the past six months.

Sales tax of services brings in about 9 percent of the total and was down 8 percent during the first six months.

Retail trade brings in about half the sales tax dollars and has increased nearly 12 percent.

The city estimates sales tax collection at just more than $9 million for fiscal 2004, which ends June 30.

Sales tax dollars are the largest source of money for the city's general fund budget of $24 million.

"The Kingman City Council always budgets based on conservative estimates of revenue," City Manager Roger Swenson said.

"That policy has kept the city in stable financial condition."

About $4.4 million in state sales and income tax and vehicle licenses fees has been budgeted as revenue for this fiscal year.

Some of the highway fuel taxes collected by the state are returned to cities and Kingman receives about $2 million.

Fess collected from golf course greens fees, cart rentals and the driving range usually bring in nearly $1 million.

Zoning and building fees account for about $500,000 of city revenue.

Water, sewer and sanitation services are enterprise funds that operate on fees charged in monthly water bills.

These funds are running on budget for revenue and expense for the first half of the fiscal year.

"All city departments are operating within budget estimates and revenue is keeping pace," Loyd said.

This is the second year in a row that city tax revenue is increasing more than expected.

Sales tax revenue was virtually stagnant during fiscal 2000 and 2001.

Growth resumed during fiscal 2002 and continued during fiscal 2003.

Swenson said the city has survived tight budget years earlier because conservative revenue projections and careful budgeting gave city officials margin for error.

The Kingman City Council will begin the planning for fiscal 2005 in February.