County budget and finance officers met on January 7, 2013 to hear from Deputy Comptroller David Roose, Director of the Bureau of Revenue Estimates Andy Schaufele, and State Department of Assessment and Taxation(SDAT) Director Robert Young, regarding revenue and assessable base estimates for Fiscal 2014.
Mr. Schaufele provided revenue estimates for Fiscal 2013 and 2014 as of December 2012. These estimates were done prior to the Fiscal Cliff changes and will be re-estimated. Regardless, they show sluggish growth.
The State’s General Fund is expected to grow by 5.5 % in Fiscal 2013, dropping to 2.1% in Fiscal 2014. Additional information can be found in a prior post on Conduit Street.
Although income taxes are projected to grow by 8% in Fiscal 2013, local governments should not use this figure for their local projections. This figure includes the changes in income rates approved during the first special session. Local governments will not benefit from this change. However, they will receive additional revenue due to the exemption changes. When excluding the rate changes, income tax revenues are projected to grow by a net of 6.3%, with withholding and estimated payments increasing by 4.2%.
Assessable Base Estimates
Mr. Young provided a series of tables showing the estimated taxable assessable base at the county level for Fiscal 2013 through 2015. The estimated real property assessable base drops from Fiscal 2013 to 2015. This same trend occurs at the State level.
Mr. Young also provided information on recent assessment notices. As previously posted on Conduit Street, the grouping of residential properties recently assessed, declined in value by 7%.
Lastly, Mr. Young discussed efforts to ensure homeowners complete the Homestead Tax Credit application prior to the December 31, 2012 deadline. SDAT received approximately 1.2 million applications by the deadline. Over 200,000 of which were received in the December time frame. The Department is asking homeowners to check the website after March 31 to give them time to be processed.
To assist local governments with setting tax rates for Fiscal 2014, SDAT will provide two constant yield tax rates. One as if all homeowners filed a homestead tax credit application on time, and one based on the number of applications received.