CORNING — The city’s budget for the fiscal year was released Tuesday night, showing the Corning fiances are in good shape, but there may be growing pains in the future.
Before her presentation, City Manager Kristina Miller said staff had created two budgets. The first is the budget as is, and the other takes into account changes and additional staffing needs.
Projected citywide revenue, excluding transfers, is expected to be $16,067,075. The total expenditure for the budget as is is approximately $18,850,726, while the budgeted additional staff expenditure would total approximately $19,059,660.
The majority of the city’s general fund revenue comes from sales tax.
“When there’s a decrease in auto sales and fuel sales, compared to other cities, we’re significantly impacted because we’re so dependent on sales tax,” Miller said.
Other sources of revenue include the Transitional Occupancy Tax, which will be approximately $670,000 this year. Staff expect property tax revenue to be 8.9% higher than budgeted last year, based on housing demand in the area. Vehicle registration fees are expected to be approximately $760,000.
Assuming no recession or other economic determinants in fiscal year 2023-24, the city would promote a police officer to detective, split the positions of planner and recreation coordinator different jobs and would hire another public works maintenance worker. In the next fiscal year, the city anticipates that it will need to hire three daytime firefighters.
To understand these additional staffing needs, staff compiled an eight-year projection with some assumptions. They assumed a 4% increase in revenue based on historical averages while factoring in budget forecasts, anticipating a 1.6% increase in sales tax and a 2.8% increase thereafter. Spending is expected to increase by 5% due to historical averages.
The projections do not anticipate a recession, make negative financial assumptions about the city’s capital improvement plan and infrastructure projects, or take into account strategic planning projects.
“With all of these assumptions in play, the city is doing pretty well,” Miller said. “It’s only in the past few years that you see the city consistently operating in the red year over year.”
If Corning can pay off some of its unfunded debt and save some money, Miller said, it can fund those positions in time.