Bellefontaine Examiner

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Bellefontaine enters new budget cycle with better income tax revenues

Bellefontaine’s financial picture has improved as its income tax collections are approaching record levels reached in 2008.

But other revenue sources for the general fund continue to decline, City Auditor Jack Reser told the council’s Finance Committee on Tuesday.

Overall general fund revenues have been buoyed this year with an estate tax settlement and a withholding payment from a large employer.

Budget planners won’t be able to count on that $325,000 for next year’s revenues, Mr. Reser said, as the withholding payment was simply catching up and estate taxes no longer exist.

Also, he expects another $25,000 cut to the city’s share of local government funds.

“We’re still having a good year as far as income tax revenues,” he said. “We set a record for income tax in 2008 with $6 million in receipts. It’s possible we could hit $5.7 million, $5.8 million and maybe $6 million this year.”

Improved employment in the area has bolstered income tax withholding and Mr. Reser continues to monitor revenue trends for the city.

Paul Benedetti with the Logan County Community Improvement Corporation told the full council interest in retail development is increasing in the city, another sign that the local economy is doing well right now.

Finance Committee members will begin the budget process in August and asked the administration to seek budget proposals from department heads.

They intend to meet with the department heads to learn more about the requests.

The committee also talked about the city’s involvement in this year’s Midwest U.S.-Japan Association Conference in Tokyo Sept. 8-10.

At this point, the sole area representative will be Mr. Benedetti, but neither the CIC nor the Logan County Area Chamber of Commerce can cover the entire $6,000 cost of the trip.

The city may chip in to help.

Mr. Benedetti said he believes a trip two years ago and subsequent involvement in conferences stateside helped the area land ISS America Inc.

Those events helped local leaders learn more about the Japanese culture and how they conduct business, he said.

In regular action, the council approved on first and final reading a measure giving the administration authority to sign contracts with AcuSport Corp., Jerry and Penny Robinson and Robinson Investments Ltd. for the project to improve the intersection of Main Street and Reynolds Avenue, the pathway to the Crossroads Business Center.

The bulk of the funding for the $260,000 project is coming from the Ohio Department of Transportation, the Ohio Department of Development and private companies.

Council members also authorized the administration to seek bids for a paving project. Bellefontaine may spend as much as $200,000 this year.

The next council meeting is at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 13.

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