Proctor tracking financial trends

Published 1:40 pm Saturday, January 22, 2005

By By JOHN EBY / Niles Daily Star
CASSOPOLIS - Cass County Administrator Terry Proctor began a "financial overview" Thursday which he will continue at the next meeting Feb. 3 and conclude at the board's retreat Saturday, Feb. 5.
Proctor graphed recent history of Cass County's general fund revenue. "You can really see that it has not been growing in a nice progression for the last five years. Rather, total revenue has been, for the most part, holding its own from year to year," he said.
All five revenue columns from 2001 through 2004 hover above the $12 million mark.
A chart backing up the graph details that four years of audited revenue included $12,393,030 for 2000, $12,566,500 for 2001, $13,175,539 for 2002 and $12,467,934 for 2003.
Taxes represent the general fund's largest revenue source, providing $5,286,100 in 2000, $5,545,078 in 2001, $5,926,695 in 2002 and $6,232,373 in 2003.
Real estate property taxes and personal property taxes furnished $6,442,399 in 2004 before the audit.
Federal and state grants rank as the second-largest revenue source for county operations, including $2,843,395 in 2000, $3,049,338 in 2001, $3,082,420 in 2002, $2,981,261 in 2003 and $2,235,920 in 2004.
Charges for services is the third-biggest revenue source at $2,044,023 in 2000, $1,585,315 in 2001, $1,726,646 in 2002, $1,658,606 in 2003 and $1,720,861 in 2004.
Proctor also prepared for commissioners a pie chart to depict revenue by category: taxes, 51.7 percent, or $126 per capita; federal and state grants, 18 percent ($44 per capita); and charges for services, 13.8 percent ($34 per capita).
Proctor presented a year-end general fund financial report showing actual revenues as of Dec. 31, 2004, of $12,064,204.
On the expenditure side, a few departments overspent their budgets.
One, Marcellus crossing guards, exceeded by 13.23 percent ($19,827, $17,511 budgeted), but "you don't need to panic because that is 100-percent reimbursed. The actual amount is collected from Marcellus."
The elections allocation was overspent by 22.43 percent ($78,773, $64,341 budgeted).
There was about a $50,000 difference when the books were finalized last year, Proctor said. "It's going to be a very small amount. It's not going to be a surplus of any great amount. You already have a general fund balance that can handle this kind of variation."
Proctor also informed commissioners that budgetary guidelines and a schedule have been drafted for the 2005-2006 process. They will be presented for the board's review and approval at its next meeting on Feb. 3.
Nine commissioners had turned in their priority lists for the retreat.