The Lafourche Parish Council received the 2016 Proposed Operating, Maintenance, and Capital Budget from President Charlotte Randolph on Tuesday, September 22 at the council’s public meeting in Mathews.
Although the proposed budget was not discussed, there were a few comments by administration and councilmen on the state of parish finances going into 2016.
Parish President Randolph’s Operations and Maintenance Budget is proposed at a value of $98,507,852.
By comparison, the 2015 budget was proposed at $100,225,287, and 2014’s amended budget total was $74,542,117,
Randolph’s administration estimates that the parish will collect about $15,383,425 in general sales tax and another $25,970,129 in ad valorem tax next year.
Combined funding from grants, state revenue sharing, fees, licenses, permits and other sources of expected revenue for 2016 total $40,415,476.
These figures closely mirror numbers from 2015’s budget, where tax estimates were $15,344,661 in sales tax, $23,858,071 in ad valorem tax, and grants were stated at $40,640,130.
But, after Finance Director Renita Jackson’s quarterly finance report on Tuesday, some councilmen were wondering about the health of the parish’s finances going into next year. Jackson noted that Royalty, Road Sales Tax District 2 (RSTD2), and Solid Waste funds collections as of the second quarter of 2015 were down compared to the previous year.
Royalty was down over 34%, RSTD2 down 8.3%, and Solid Waste was also down 3.4% for Q2 of 2014.
“The decrease that’s catching my eye is Solid Waste,” said Councilman Phillip Gouaux, who asked Randolph when these decreases might affect the parish’s ability to pay its indebtedness.
Randolph answered that part of her budgeting process requires that a “cushion” be maintained in each fund.
“If you look at the funds, all funds have healthy balances,” she said.
Randolph also advised the council that 2016 will see fewer capital projects and that only recreation will see significant projects next year.
Jackson added that the proposed year-ending balance for Solid Waste is $1.9 million and that her department estimates that the balance will be $1.4 at 2016 end of year.
The proposed 2016 may be viewed on the Lafourche Parish Government public site at http://www.lafourchegov.org/government/departments/finance-purchasing/2014-operating-maintenance-and-capital-budgets.
Posted on Fri, September 25, 2015
by Buster Avera, Contributing Writer