Village government’s new fiscal year begins July 1, which may come before gross receipts taxes rebound from the collapse of commerce here and statewide.
Village Administrator Ron Curry had started the budget process for fiscal year 2020-21 before the worst business closures hit.
In early April, he was optimistic that the Village’s finances would hold strong through June. “Our gross receipts tax revenue for the next 90 days looks really good,” he said April 1. “But starting three or four months from now, we will be very cautious” about expenditures.
The Village of Corrales’ annual budget process typically begins in March with the heads of departments (such as police, fire, library, public works and others) reporting what they expect to need for the new fiscal year.
Gross receipts (sales) tax on the sale of goods and services provides the biggest chunk of income for municipal governments, as intended by state statues. But much of that revenue stream is expected to have evaporated due to mandatory business closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Village’s 2019-20 budget, which went into effect July 1, 2019, anticipated more than $3 million coming in from gross receipts taxes. Part of that was to come from sales within Corrales, while other such taxes were to be shared by the State treasury from taxes collected elsewhere.
For Corrales, $1,354,386 was projected to come from “municipal share,” while $1,118,438 would be derived from “gross receipts municipal,” $326,931 was projected from “municipal hold harmless GRT,” $195,600 from “municipal infrastructure GRT” and $55,902 from “environmental GRT.”
In Corrales’ last year budget, the Village was projected to receive $1,623,193 as its share of property tax collected. Issuance of building permits was anticipated to bring in $150,000 during FY2019-20.
Corrales’ budget for the current fiscal year is more than $5 million.
Unless extensions are granted from the N.M. Department of Finance and Administration, Village officials are required to submit a draft 2020-2021 budget by May 31. That would be reviewed and okayed by DFA, so that the Village Council can adopt a final at the end of June.
Corrales may be in better shape financially than many other municipalities since it was discovered late last year that the Village’s investment account held way more than had been thought. (See Corrales Comment Vol.XXXIX No.1 February 22, 2020 “Mystery Continues for Village’s Extra $4.7 Million.”) Curry said April 1 that an audit was still underway to learn the source of the extra money.
Curry said April 6 that DFA officials in Santa Fe had advised that the Village should look at last year’s budget as a starting point for developing the FY2020-21 budget. “But we will be having more conversations with DFA later this week. We have advised Village department heads to submit a flat budget for next year.”
He expects State government will be able to provide the level of funding to Corrales as projected, “although the legislature will be looking at its budget projections, which were based on oil selling for $50 a barrel and it’s now down to $20.”
He said the Village administration is keeping careful track of its expenditures related to costs incurred due to the pandemic. “We’re hoping that some reimbursement may come to us through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“Right now, we’re concerned that the number of COVID-19 cases in Sandoval County continues to rise.”