Talbot County May Face $3.7 Million Budget Shortfall

Talbot County Director of Finance, Angela Lane spoke before the Talbot County Council last week to discuss a possible budget shortfall for the upcoming fiscal year.  The combination of decreased revenue estimates and money being withdrawn from the county’s rainy day fund could pose an issue for FY13.   The Star Democrat* reports:

The council balanced the current fiscal year budget at $66 million in part by moving $1 million from the capital fund to the operating fund. The county continues to maintain $10.4 million in its rainy day fund.

Lane said in the previous fiscal year, the county budgeted $7.4 million from its savings to balance the budget.

She said due to revenues not meeting estimates, the county experienced a budgetary shortfall and ended up using $9.1 million from savings.

Lane said Talbot’s income tax revenues are up slightly, though most are not collected until later in the year calling the current trend into question. She said recordation and transfer taxes are coming in lower than expected and could lead to a shortfall of up to $3.7 million if the trend continues.

“Housing-related revenues continue to decline. Recordation and transfer taxes collected through November are almost 40 percent below budgeted levels for the current fiscal year,” Lane said.

Lane said Talbot does have about $3 million in other funds, plus another $9 million planned to go into a trust fund for county’s employees’ post-retirement benefits. She said of that $9 million, $7 million is already earmarked for deposit.

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