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Austin General Fund forecast strong

Thursday, May 28, 2015 by Jo Clifton

Austin’s sales tax revenue is up 7.2 percent this year compared with the previous fiscal year, and city financial officials are forecasting that the city will bring in $2.1 million more than was budgeted, for a projected annual growth rate of 5.8 percent. The information comes from the second quarter fiscal year 2015 report.

Although the item was scheduled for a presentation and discussion at Wednesday’s Audit and Finance Committee meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo, who chairs the committee, asked staff simply to email the information to committee members because of the crowded agenda.

As a result of the large number of residential permits, land use development applications and permits for high-value projects, development-driven revenue is projected to be $6.8 million above budget, accounting for the majority of the increase.

With growth in franchise fees and other revenues, General Fund revenue is 7 percent higher than it was in FY 2014. The total net surplus for the General Fund is projected at $10.7 million, according to the financial update. Total available funds are estimated to be $864.8 million for the General Fund, compared with the amended budget of $854.1 million.

Brad Sinclair in the city Budget Office reported that $1.1 million of the increased revenue came from additional franchise fees; specifically higher-than-expected natural gas sales and increased AT&T cable revenue. The rest came from increased traffic fines and alcohol sales taxes.

At the same time, departmental expenditures are estimated at $822.6 million, which is what was budgeted.

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