Portsmouth City Auditor Trent Williams has issued his report for the month of September, and in most funds the city continues to be up over last year. The General Fund shows a balance of $1,753,174, up by $1,891,438 over last year. The Streets Fund stands at $371,755, which is up by $476,135 over last year.
The Water Fund shows a balance of $174,943, which is $486,730 over the previous year’s figures and the Sanitation Fund carries a balance of $549,038, up $191,324 over the same period last year.
With the good news comes the bad news – The Sewer Fund continues to be a dark blot on the city’s financial status. Through September, the fund carries a negative balance of $1,223,362 which is a negative balance of $277,539 over last year’s negative balance of $945,823.
What appears to be another set of red figures may be somewhat misleading. That would be the Insurance Fund which carries a negative balance of $95,745. Last year’s balance for the same period was $1,546,769 in the black which makes this year’s balance $1,642,514 deeper in the hole.
“I did look into that and that was where the city manager had wanted to look at year-end fund balances for all the operating funds and had wanted us to move the remaining health insurance premiums for the rest of the year in August over, so he could see what the operating funds would be,” Williams said. ‘The result of that was that the Insurance Fund would be elevated for a few months which would reduce by the premiums each month, but the operating funds would have already paid out those expenses, so by December he (city manager) could look and see what the funds would be in advance.”
The good news is that the fund will be in the black by over $1 million.
“The quarterly transfer is about a million dollars,” City Manager Derek K. Allen said. “Insurance payments are $330,000 a month, so it will finish the year. with a million dollars.”
“It’s just nice to see five out of six funds that are in the black that were in the red at this time last year,” Portsmouth Mayor Jim Kalb said. “It’s a marked improvement.”
In September the General Fund income tax collections were $661,056, down $62,407 over the same month last year, but up $1,685,950 from the same time period last year.
Total income tax collections for the month were $752,091, down $99,085 from the same month last year, and up $1,720,761 over last year.
Another figure Williams has been tracking is the revenue from the additional half-a-percent income tax which went into effect in January of this year. His report says that additional tax has generated $145,589.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.