Recovering economy, light winter help lead to Northbrook budget surplus
Updated: April 8, 2013 6:40AM
NORTHBROOK — Northbrook residents are going to be pleasantly surprised when they learn the current village budget figures.
The 2012/13 fiscal budget was projected to have a general fund surplus of $32,605 for the year, said Jeffrey L. Rowitz, director of finance.
But it is now being projected with a surplus of $1,367,740, he added.
“We currently estimate that revenues will be over budget by $621,005. While this is not a material percentage of our general fund, we continue to see evidence of sustained recovery in our local economy,” Rowitz said.
“Sales tax receipts have exceeded projections in 11 of the past 12 months, and 22 of the last 24. Retail shopping center vacancy rates have declined to 6.7 percent, after reaching a peak of nearly 15 percent in 2010.”
When staff members prepared the budget, they estimated that sales taxes would be three percent more than last year, Rowitz said.
However, sales tax receipts are already three percent ahead of the budget expectation, so staff has increased its estimate for the year accordingly, he added.
Also, building activity has been better than anticipated. The original budget projected building permit revenue of $800,000, Rowitz said.
But due to increased construction activity in general and the recent permit issued to Senior Lifestyles, the staff is now projecting permit revenue year to be about $1.4 million for this fiscal year.
“The construction value was significantly higher (for Senior Lifestyles) than expected, which resulted in a materially higher permit fee than anticipated.”
In reference to expenses, “we are currently projecting expenses to be $714,130 under budget. This savings is mostly attributed to personnel costs,” Rowitz said.
Besides leaving several vacant positions open, the mild winter has produced significant overtime savings, he added.
Also, the projected surplus for fiscal year 2012/13 is higher than reflected in the fiscal year 2013/14 draft budget, he noted.