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First Quarter Montgomery Twp. Revenues Up 50 Percent Over 2011

Expenses are almost 10 percent above the same period in 2011

About 94 percent of revenues for the first quarter of 2012 are tracking nearly 50 percent above the same period from 2011.

Finance director Shannon Drosnock gave an update on the results of the first quarter 2012 budget Monday night.

"This is good news going forward," Drosnock told supervisors.

The fund balance for the General Fund at the end of the first quarter 2012 is $5.056 million, an increase of $721,000 over the first quarter balance for 2011, she said.

"The three most significant revenue streams contributing to the increase over the prior year are the mercantile tax returns of $63,000 above the same period prior year; the implementation of the Local Services Tax, which is dedicated to funding public safety; and revenues for bld permits at an increase of $125,000 over the same period prior year," Drosnock said.

At the end of the first quarter 2012, revenues - except interfund transfers - are 7.2 percent above 2011, and about 2 percent above the first quarter 2012 anticipated budget.

The 2012 General Fund cash balance is $5.056 million, as compared to $4.3 million in 2011, Drosnock said.

Tax revenues are 4.9 percent above the same time last year, Drosnock said, at $3.803 million.

Permits and license revenues are up 45.4 percent above 2011, at $414,967. Overall permit revenues are ahead of prior year and about 7 percent ahead of budget.

Supervisors Chairwoman Candyce Chimera asked why the revenues were so much for the first quarter. 

Planning and zoning director Bruce Shoupe said the township is seeing a heavy influx of commercial and industrial development.

"We’re talking big numbers coming in," he said. "Last week there was a project with $1 million in renovation. The week before was another $1 million renovation," he said.

"Some bigger projects are coming in. (We are seeing) a lot more on the industrial side. We are seeing money coming back," Shoupe said. "There are a lot of interior renovations, equipment upgrades, and industrial upgrades."

According to township documents, new construction permits are down as a result of the Ryan Homes townhouse complex nearing its final phase. There have also been a high number of roof, electric and plumbing permits issued in the township.

Other sources of revenue, Drosnock said, represent 5 percent of total revenues of the township. Those revenues are down 28.9 percent from 2011, at $55,896. Drosnock said these revenues include items like police fines and grant money.

Total revenues for the township in the first quarter are up 7.2 percent at $4.273 million. 

Local Enabling Tax revenues, or Act 511 Taxes, are tracking ahead across the board, Drosnock said.

Local Services Tax jumped from $55,160 in first quarter 2011 to $139,807 in first quarter 2012. 

"We just implemented the tax last year from Occupational Privilege to Local Services," Drosnock said. "So, the first quarter comparative data isn't apples to apples. Come second quarter we'll see the first true year to year comparison of how that's tracking."

According to township documents, in March, Local Services Tax reveneus were up 153.5 percent, but that was due to the change in collection procedures from the $10 Occupational Privilege Tax to the $52 Local Services Tax.

Earned income tax is at $952,712 from $943,034 in 2011. Realty transfer tax jumped from $65,825 last year to $74,377 in first quarter 2012.

"It's good to see the transfer tax is up over the same period last year. That’s good news," said Supervisor Mike Fox.

According to township documents, real estate tax revenues for March were down 7.3 percent at $11,100 over 2011. Data indicates that this is related to the timing of receipts.

Earned income tax revenues were up in March 1 percent from 2011. 

Mercantile tax increased about $4,000 to $1.777 million in 2012. Amusement tax is at $15,419, and Business Privilege Tax is up to $702,654.

According to township documents, more than 90 percent of the anticipated taxes for mercantile and business privilege have been received and revenues are 6 percent ahead of budget.

In looking at township expenses, Drosnock said they are up 0.9 percent from 2011.

Adminstration and finance expenses are down 13.3 percent at $206,000. Finance expenses are down 0.2 percent. 

Police expenses are up 7.2 percent. Drosnock said this is reflective of the collective bargaining agreement. According to township documents, the collective bargaining agreement had a one-time incentive bonus offered to officers who permanently changed their health plan from PPO to HMO. This was not accounted for in the 2012 budget, according to documentation.

"Part of that would be recouped throughout the year, related to health insurance premiums, as the year goes on," she said.

Code enforcement expenses are up 0.8 percent and public work expenses are tracking down 6.6 percent, she said.

"The actions there indicates expenses that are encumbered for the street sweeper, which was placed on order last year," she said. 

Drosnock said the net of prior year encumbrances and expenses are about 1 percent above the same period 2011 and about 1 percent below budget. 

"While it has been a strong first quarter, we still have 75 percent of the year to get through. However, we are cautiously optimistic that the fiscal year will proress according to budget," Drosnock said. 

"That's such a politician's term," joked Supervisor Robert Birch.

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