Commentary

County revenues improve, so far, in 2012

I n January I reported to you that we had completed entering all the uncollected traffic fines over three months, due into the delinquent collections system, and were in the process of participating in the statewide warrant roundup program starting in late February.

This effort is having significant results.

January through March, 2012 our collection f irm of MVBA reports delinquent fine collections of over $136,300 for Milam County (this is county only and does not include any of the municipalities).

This compares to about $200,000 total that we collectedin the previous year and a half combined.

We still have about $2.5 million in delinquent fines outstanding. Unfortunately Randall Rice, our client services manager, for MVBA tells me that we will only collect about 25 or 30% of the amount turned over to them with another 15% being resolved in other ways.

The rest are never collected. With about 40% of the original traffic citations written going into the delinquent system, this means that about 25% will never get paid.

Those people will eventually be unable to renew their driver’s license with an unpaid fine on their record in the Omni system. This also means that there is a significant segment of the population out there that is already driving without a license and there will be more.

Some are unable to pay their fine and some simply refuse to pay. However, the good news is that we should eventually collect another $300,000 or so of our outstanding delinquent fines which will further help our bottom line in a year when we really need it.

But more good news. In the first quarter we are ahead of budget in the general fund on revenues from other sources by over $50,000 with first quarter revenues from other sources than ad valorem taxes being $811,500 with sales taxes leading the way at $315,000 YTD and fines and fees from all court and traffic fines and fees totaling $310,000 YTD.

By comparison, last year’s first quarter saw us at $750,000 and $100,000 behind budget in revenue from other sources. The big difference is that we are over $400,000 behind last year in ad valorem tax collections in the general fund and $200,000 in the Road and Bridge accounts primarily due to the Luminant law suit with no assurance that those funds will be collected depending on the outcome of that litigation.

However this significant improvement in our revenue from other sources combined with the continued overall operation of our departments at some 6% under budget on projected costs through the first quarter will go a long way toward getting us through this difficult situation.

Thank you to all you count y employees that are getting the job done for the ta x payers of Milam County.

dbarkemeyer@milamcounty.net


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2012-04-19 digital edition



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