Monday, September 24, 2012

Why The Fee Increases...

...when Reuters makes these points?
  • Healthy reserve levels result from eight consecutive years of general fund operating surpluses.
  • Eagle Ford natural gas and oil drilling activity has bolstered employment and sales tax growth, which the city expects to continue and Fitch considers reasonable based on recent trends
  • The overall debt burden is manageable as growth induced capital pressures have been matched by solid TAV gains and the city's various enterprise funds.
  • Laredo's international trade activity has historically fueled strong growth in its property tax base, which increased by a compound annual average of 9% over the five years ending in fiscal 2010.
  • While TAV remained flat in fiscal years 2011 and 2012, the city anticipates modest growth in the next several years
  • The city consistently outperforms budget expectations, recording a general fund operating surplus in each of the last eight fiscal years.
  •  In fiscal 2011, the city posted a modest $574,000 net operating surplus, resulting in a large unrestricted general fund balance of $34.7 million (equal to 23% of spending), exceeding the 15% fund balance requirement
  • the general fund is projected to add $1.6 million to fund balance in fiscal 2012
(TAV - Taxable Assessed Valuation)

So the City of Laredo wants to make improvements in the Solid Waste Dept., and for that they want to raise fees by 100 percent.  I don't see how those fee hikes are justified when I read words like "large unrestricted general fund balance," and "TAV gains." 



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