Toledo Finances Moving in the Right Direction
As Mayor, I am committed to prudent, responsible and transparent fiscal management of the City while improving operational efficiencies and service delivery.
Because of an improving local economy, Toledo is doing better than anticipated in generating revenue. Income tax revenues are up as Toledo businesses expand and hire more workers. Holding the line on costs, and savings in healthcare costs and workers compensation have also helped the bottom line and allowed us to reduce the transfer from the capital fund to the operating fund in 2016.
This improving outlook for Toledo is great news for the City, and we will use these savings to improve our residential streets and neighborhood sidewalks.
There appears to be some confusion related to available funds, specifically that there is $8 million in “found” money available for expenditure. The $8 million is restricted. These funds cannot be shifted to the operating budget.
Fund balances are necessary to cover previously committed capital funds that carry-over to subsequent years and certain restricted funds. The Franklin Park Mall tax increment financing (“TIF”) is legally restricted for certain capital project uses in the area; and cannot be used for residential streets. All available funds are considered in the process of computing what is available for expenditure.
In computing the CIP budget, we start with the available fund balances in both the debt service fund (the $8 million) and the capital improvement fund. Adding projected revenue and any revenue carry-over to this gives us an estimate of total available resources. From these total available resources are subtracted debt payments, ongoing or carry-over capital project costs, and restricted tax increment financing (“TIF”) funds. Then the balance is used to fund new capital improvement projects, including major streets, residential streets and sidewalk repairs.
My responsibility is not just for today, but to put the City in a better position to deal with future challenges. We are doing this through fiscal restraint and economic growth.
We are working collaboratively with the private sector and development agencies across the community to foster new business development in our city. We have had significant success. We have added a net 2000 new jobs in Toledo in the last 2 years. And with new projects under construction in the downtown and across the City, we will see this number increase in the coming year.
Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson