By TAYLOR HARTZ
The Board of Finance met on July 29 to assess the town’s current financial state. Town Manager Garry Brumback applauded the finance department, who he said “managed the budget very, very, well all year long.”
Finance Director Emilia Portelinha explained that, according to projections, the town spent less than they planned. The town has also earned more than they expected this year, so the town’s finances are better than projected so far in 2015.
Officials compared the actual town revenue to the projections in the budget and reported a surplus. Portelinha reported that taxes collected from previous years totaled $247,000 above the amount projected in this year’s budget. Interest accrued on those taxes added another $177,000 to the surplus.
She said the main reason for the overage is a tax sale held by the town where five properties were sold at auction, earning the town almost $250,000 in interest fees and taxes.
An additional six properties were redeemed before they were sent to auction, bringing in an additional $297,000.
Portelinha said that, although building permit fees collected by the town are $113,000 under projections for this year’s budget, the budget had predicted a 38.5 percent increase from fiscal year 2014. That’s still an increase over fees collected in 2014.
“It doesn’t bode badly even though we are under budget because we were so much higher than last year,” said Portelinha. “If you look at the big picture, it’s actually an increase.”
Interest on investments in town is currently $89,000 above budget, which Portelinha described as a “fantastic” number, brought in due to more aggressive investment funds.
Portelinha said she predicts that the town expenditures will probably come in $250,000 under budget “when all is said and done.”
Chairman Leary said that $1.3 million in funding was harvested, meaning it was not spent in this fiscal year but carried into the new year to fund the same purpose or a new purpose.
Any remaining balance in the contingency fund at the end of the fiscal year on June 30 will go directly into the Rainy Day Fund. In addition to the $1.3 million in harvested monies, $850,000 will now go into the Rainy Day Fund, meaning the fund reaches approved policy level of 10 percent and over, at 12 percent.
Before the meeting’s adjournment, Chariman Leary read a letter sent to the town from the Government Finance Officers Association on June 16, and congratulated Portelinha on a sound financial state in Southington, encouraging her “to take pride back to the office” at the Finance Department.