The Luther Town Board and most all of its employees did some number crunching and budget preparing during a Special Town Board Meeting called on Wednesday evening June 1, 2016. The new budgets for the town and the Luther Public Works Authority take effect in one month.
Do you know where your town gets its money and what it is spent on?
The biggest revenue item for the town of Luther comes from sales taxes at $27,000 but is followed by revenue from “fines and forfeitures,” with an estimate of $20,000 a month.
Here are the revenue streams for the town per month:
Sales tax $27,000
Cigarette tax $400
Gasoline tax $200
Use tax $850
Buidling permits/inspections $1,250
Fines & Forfeitures $20,000
Other revenue includes Franchise tax at $12,500 and miscellaneous taxes at $9,900 annually.
Total annual town revenue is estimated at nearly $620,000
Estimated expenditures for next year are at about $514,000.
The biggest expenditure for the town is wages and benefits (health and life insurance): town employees and clerks, police officers and police chief and the fire chief at almost $300,000.
After a line-item discussion of items that ranged from salaries and benefits to the number of times the town would pay the cleaning bill for police officer’s uniforms or “how old is too old” for a computer, and do we spend too much on ink for the printers and copiers, the plan is to “finalize” the budget to present for a public hearing later this month. And with the available estimated revenue to be be able to plug-in some “wish list” items for both the fire and police departments such as a new computer or police car. Maybe some more training or tires!
There was no public talk about capital improvements such as remodeling work for the Town Hall on Main Street. During the meeting, the power flashed and the small room where the board sometimes meets (and municipal court is held) went dark briefly. Town employees commented: “happens all of the time.” Someone else said, “we’ve been told this place could burn down because of the aging wiring.” There also was not any talk about the sale of any properties the town owns along Main Street, or whether any new businesses are coming that might increase tax revenue to the town coffers. There was some talk about possibly increasing utility rates for businesses and residents.
- Police (not including salaries):
- Fuel $975
- Municipal Judge $850
- Prosecuting attorney $850
- Inmate boarding $200
- General Town (not including salaries):
- Liability/Property insurance $490
- Accountant $355
- Eastern Oklahoma County Partnership $442
- Debt service at FBT (bank) $1,266
While the town estimates it spends about $3,000 monthly, the police department spends almost $7,000 monthly while the volunteer fire department spends only $3,500, according to the budget worksheets.
The town board also worked on the budget for the Luther Public Works Authority.
The LPWA’s main source of revenue is from collections for utilities: water, trash and sewer for town residents. And it’s main expenditures are for wages and benefits, a contracted trash service taking care of the water and sewer facilities, lawn mower upkeep and other related expenses. The LPWA’s annual revenue is about $276,000 annually and the budget for next year is around $185,000 leaving some room for capital projects or savings.
A public hearing is expected later this month.