County copes with lost revenue

Published 5:27 pm Monday, July 12, 2010

As the end of the fiscal year approaches, the Escambia County Commission has made some adjustments to make up for a loss of revenue.

The commission is making internal cuts, rather than cuts to services, to account for a loss of revenue in oil and gas privilege taxes and landfill hosting fees.

David Stokes, commission chairman, said the approved budget amendment wasn’t the first adjustment made in the budget this year.

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“We just need to make some amendment to the budget for the fiscal year 2010,” Stokes said. “This is the second amendment to the budget for the year.”

County Administrator Tony Sanks said the amendment adjusting the budget to keep finances in balance for the year was necessary.

“This adjustment was made because of losses in revenue so far this year,” Sanks said. “We are 10 months into the budget year and we have not received some revenues that we had counted on for the year. These adjustments are necessary in order for us to keep our budget balanced and we are required to do that.”

Sanks said one of the reasons an adjustment was needed is due to the loss of revenues from different areas overseen by the county.

“We won’t be getting Oil and Gas Production Privilege taxes this year,” Sanks said. “We won’t be seeing nearly $200,000 that we had expected because of that.”

Sanks said another area of loss has been seen in the area of landfill hosting fees for the county.

“The tonnage is down at the landfill and so are our fees,” Sanks said. “It’s amazing when the economy takes a fall people seem to hold on to things more and don’t throw away as much. One reason is because people aren’t buying as much to need to throw away the old things. Because of that our tonnage is down and so are the fees we collect.”

Sanks said cuts made in the county budget won’t be noticed by citizens since most cuts have been made internally.

“We are doing everything we can to keep from touching services or personnel of the county,” Sanks said. “We are continuing to make cuts and we have done that is most every department. We are trimming where we can to adjust for our losses this year.”