Ulster County had $3.5 million 2011 surplus (with full report)
KINGSTON, N.Y. — Revenues outpaced spending in 2011, leading Ulster County to close out the year with a budget surplus.
According to the county’s annual financial report filed last week with the state Comptroller’s Office, Ulster County took in $279 million in 2011, but spent only $275.5 million, resulting in a $3.5 million surplus.
That surplus helped boost the county’s fund balance to $17.5 million, up $2.6 million or 17.4 percent over the county’s $14.9 million fund balance at the end of 2010.
Ulster County 2011 Financial Report
The vast majority of the surplus — $2.7 million — can be attributed to higher than anticipated sales tax revenues, the largest single revenue stream for the county. Ulster collected $86.3 million in sales tax in 2011, up 3.3 percent over the $83.5 million anticipated in the 2011 budget. In 2010, the county collected $82.8 million in sales tax revenues, and in 2009 the county took in $77.8 million in sales tax revenue.
Spending, meanwhile, was down 7.5 percent from the $283 million budgeted for general fund expenditures.
“Through strong financial management and conservative budgeting techniques, Ulster County was able to return a surplus to the fund balance amidst very challenging financial conditions,” stated County Executive Michael Hein in a press release Monday announcing the findings..
“I think it shows that strong financial management is key to showing we can rebuild the fund balance,” said Budget Director J.J. Hanson. “It’s very important for the county, and all of government, to live within the means that we have.”
Over the past several years, the county has drawn down its fund balance in order to balance the county budget and stave off significant property tax increases.
The county’s 2012 budget calls for $10.8 million from the fund balance. Continued...
Hanson said the $17.5 million fund balance is less the anticipated 2012 allocation.
The county saw a slight dip in the amount it had to subsidize the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency in 2011. The county budget called for $1.38 million in spending, but the actual net service fee paid to the agency was $1.36 million, Hanson said.
He said that due to different accounting methods used by Golden Hill Health Care Center, the amount of the county’s 2011 subsidy to the 280-bed nursing home hasn’t yet been calculated.
Revenues paid by other counties paying to board inmates in the Ulster County Jail, meanwhile, fell $350,000 short of the $1.35 million in revenues anticipated in the budget, he said.
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