McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

October 17, 2013

City of McAlester holds its own on first quarter budget

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — The city of McAlester is holding its own as far as the city’s budget for the first quarter of the current fiscal year is concerned.

That’s according to McAlester City Manager Pete Stasiak, who said he based his conclusions on a combination of city sales tax collections, water and sewer service sales, gas royalties and other revenue-generating activities.

The city of McAlester has received its sales tax returns for the period ranging from Aug. 15 to Sept. 15, coming in somewhat under what the city had budgeted for that time period.

“We received $1,055,088 and we were budgeted at $1,092,444,” Stasiak said. That means the city’s sales tax returns for that 30-day period are $37,356 less than what the city had budgeted.

For the fiscal year to-date, which began on July 1, 2013, Stasiak said the city has received $4,363,473 — which is $32,970 less than the $4,396,443 the city had budgeted for the first quarter of the fiscal year.

“We’re at 99.3 percent of our budget,” Stasiak said.

While Stasiak would, of course, prefer to be at 100 percent or higher, he said the numbers are manageable. What do the current returns tell him?

“It tells me we did a good job budgeting; we made the correct adjustments,” Stasiak said, referring to changes made at City Hall during the previous fiscal year.

He said he doesn’t anticipate having to make any additional adjustments at this point based on the current numbers.

While the sales tax revenues so far this year aren’t quite what had been budgeted, Stasiak said that doesn’t tell the entire story where city revenues are concerned.

“We tend to solely focus on sales tax,” he said. City revenues are generated from other sources as well, Stasiak noted.

He said the city has approximately $1,712,000 in sales for water and sewer services for the fiscal year to-date. That includes sales in the city as well as to the water districts which contract with the city of McAlester for their water supplies.

“We had budgeted $1,412,000, so we’re $300,000 ahead,” Stasiak said, adding that the figures had not been seasonably adjusted.

The city’s collection on royalties from natural gas is over-budget by $39,000 so far this fiscal year, he said — meaning the city has received $39,000 more than expected.

The city at this point is 25 percent into its budget for the current 2013-2014 Fiscal Year, because the first quarter covers the months of July, August and September.

“If you look at all revenue, from building permits to dog licenses, in the general fund we should be at 25 percent,” Stasiak said.

He said the city’s general revenues are at 25.66 percent, or two-thirds of 1 percent higher than budgeted.

Stasiak said the McAlester Public Works Authority’s revenues are even better, coming in at 28.73 percent, or 3.75 percent higher than what had been budgeted at the 25 percent level for the first quarter of the fiscal year.

When he looks at all the numbers, Stasiak said he’s reached the following conclusion.

“We’re in pretty good shape,” he said.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.