The restoration of State Municipal Aid accounted for why the City of Jamestown ended 2020 with a surplus. City Comptroller Ryan Thompson reported unaudited year end financials to City Council last night. Thompson said revenues were down 1.7-percent but expenditures down 4.3-percent from what was budgeted, leaving the city with a $975,643 surplus,
“If you recall, the state had withheld 20% of our revenues in 2020 and if you fast forward now to today we’ve actually received 15% of that 20% reduction and we will be also receiving the remaining 5%, so for 2020 we will not have a variance from a state aid perspective in the revenue.”
Sales tax revenues were up over $310,000, which was a 4.78% increase from what budgeted. And Police and Fire salaries with benefits were over budget by $1.1 million in 2020.
Thompson said concerns for 2021 include that the city remains at 99.15% of its Constitutional Tax Limit.
“The OPEB (Other Post-Employment Benefits) liability, the GASB-75 Actuarial report which estimates the total healthcare costs is up to $172 million this year. At the end of 2019, it was only at $160 million so it actually increased by $12 million so still a very, very large number there.”
Thompson added the Police and Fire contracts have expired and all other bargaining unit contracts are up for negotiation this year as well. He said the city has had a surplus for the last 4 years, which is very helpful for the fund balance.