Mayfield Heights Faces $500,000 Deficit
Like many cities, Mayfield's 2013 budget includes losses in estate and property tax revenues
Mayfield Heights' 2013 budget carries a deficit for many of the same reasons other cities do.
The main factors in the $500,000 shortfall are expected decreases in revenues from the Ohio estate tax, local government fund, and property taxes from lower asses property valuations.
Mayfield Heights Finance & Audit Committee Chair Joe Mercurio said the city expects to receive $500,000 less from the estate tax; $300,000 less from the state's local government fund; and a $175,000 decrease in property taxes. The city's projected revenues are $19.4 million, down $1 million from 2012.
Expenses will finish at $19.9 million, he said.
"Half of this increase is due to a transfer into our road improvement fund," Mercurio said. "We had previously relied on our estate tax to fund these improvements."
The Ohio Department of Taxation repealed its estate tax for those who died on or after Jan. 1.
Salaries and wages for Mayfield Heights employees will also increase by 2 percent because of previously established contractual obligations with workers. Health care benefits will pick up by about $240,000, Mercurio said.
Large capital expenditures in the budget include the purchases of three replacement police vehicles, a fire department SUV and two replacement snow plow and salt trucks for the service department. The city's telephone system will be replaced, as will the fence at Kobe Field.
Mercurio said the city would be paying down its debt by about $925,000, leaving $1.9 million from the debt note on city hall. Reserves sit at about $8.8 million.
"I think we do have a solid budget," Mercurio said.
City council passed three budget-associated pieces of legislation this week to approve the budget, make appropriations and transfer money into areas that were affected funding losses.
City Council member Nino Monaco asked what was being done to help offset the deficit. Mercurio hopes the oft-discussed Mayland Plaza could be a point of economic development.
"I think this is something that needs to be addressed sooner than later," Monaco said.