FY 2023 Budget Information

At Tuesday’s 9 a.m. special meeting, the Elkins council unanimously approved a General Fund budget for Fiscal Year 2023 (July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023) that is only about $65,000 higher than the FY 2022 budget and maintains the city’s property-tax rates at current levels.

The proposed FY 2023 budget includes pay raises for police officers and other city employees, additional money for street paving and the flood control works, and continued funding of all “outside organizations” (i.e., strategic partners such as the Randolph County Development Authority, Elkins Main Street, and various other authorities, agencies, and organizations) at FY 2022 levels.

Council’s proposed FY 2023 budget, also known as the “levy estimate/budget document,” must now be submitted to the state auditor’s office, which will inspect it for accounting and procedural errors.

Council will then meet on the third Tuesday in April (April 19), when it can “lay the levy,” i.e., finally adopt its FY 2023 budget.

  • Proposed FY 2023 budget: $5,380,724
  • FY 2022 budget: $5,315,307[1]
  • Difference: +$65,417

Balance

One of the things the auditor’s office will verify is that the budget is “balanced,” i.e., that projected revenues and projected expenditures are equal. This requires estimating both the city’s income and outlays for FY 2023.

Projected Carryover

Estimating the city’s future income requires projecting how much (if any) of the money budgeted for FY 2022 will remain at year’s end (i.e., June 30).

  • Estimated carryover from FY 2022: $270,054

Projected Revenues

Estimating the city’s future income also requires estimating revenues from the city’s share of county property taxes, city business and occupation taxes, the 1 percent municipal sales tax, the utility excise tax, and the rest of the city’s approximately 3 dozen revenue categories.

  • Estimated revenues for FY 2023 (inc. FY2022 carryover): $5,380,724

Projected Expenditures

Estimating the city’s expenses requires projecting personnel, equipment, and supply costs for day-to-day operations, planned special projects, and contingencies for unexpected necessities and emergencies. Expenditure projections that the city’s administrative officers considered during budget planning included:

  • 100 percent increase in street paving budget (for total of $200,000 in FY 2023)
  • Increase of $25,000 in maintenance and upkeep for the city’s flood control works
  • Wage increases in various city departments, including an increase of about $54,000 total in annual police department salaries (average increase of $4,000 per officer per year)
  • Estimated 4 percent increase in liability and property insurance
  • Estimated continued high fuel costs
  • City absorbing 5 percent increase in PEIA costs

The city’s administrative officers used these and other factors to estimate their respective departments’ FY 2023 expenditures.

  • Estimated expenditures for FY 2023: $5,380,724

Contributions to Outside Organizations

One significant category of annual city expenditures is known as “contributions to outside organizations.”

These outside organizations include strategic partners such as external boards, authorities, and commissions; countywide agencies and operations such as animal control, the health department, and the library; and economic development agencies such as Elkins Main Street and the Randolph County Development Authority. Also included are the Elkins Parks and Recreation Commission and the Elkins-Randolph County Tourism Convention and Visitors Bureau (Elkins Depot Welcome Center).

A budget recommended to council last Thursday would have made significant reductions in these budget lines. However, today’s meeting produced an amended budget that restored FY 2023 funding for all such organizations to their FY 2022 levels.

Water & Sewer Funds

Per state law, revenues and expenditures for the city’s water and sewer utilities must be managed and accounted for entirely separately from General Fund. No General Fund revenues, such as sales tax, may be used for costs of the Water or Sanitary Funds, and vice versa.

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For more on the rules separating the General Fund from other funds: www.cityofelkinswv.com/government/treasurer/explainer-governmental-vs-proprietary-funds.

For more about the city’s budget process: www.cityofelkinswv.com/government/treasurer/budget.


Footnotes:

[1] Starting July 1, Elkins Fire Department revenues/expenditures will be accounted for in a separate fund and so are not included in the FY 2023 General Fund budget amount shown above. For comparison, FY 2022 EFD revenues/expenditures have been subtracted from the shown FY 2022 amount. EFD revenues/expenditures were $913,000 in FY 2022 and are projected to remain flat for FY 2023. With EFD included, the FY 2023 budget total would be $6,293,724. The FY 2022 General Fund, including EFD, was $6,228,307.

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