Riverton revenues expected to rise this year; grants up too

Riverton’s general fund revenues are projected to rise by 6 percent this year, according to a recent budget presentation from city staff.

The city thinks it will bring in about $8.9 million in general fund revenues in fiscal year 2023 – an increase of about $500,000 over the current year, city administrator Tony Tolstedt said.

Sales tax

Sales and use taxes are the “largest sources” of general fund revenues, Tolstedt said; in fiscal year 2021, they generated more than $2.5 million.

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For fiscal year 2023, Tosltedt said use tax estimates are down, but increased sales tax projections are “more than making up for it, by far.”

“Sales tax (has) actually done pretty well,” he said. “This year, to date, we’re looking at about $100,000 over where we were last year. That’s really nice.”

h/t City of Riverton

The number can be seen as an “economic indicator,” he explained.

“The fact that it is continuing to grow is very positive for our community,” Tolstedt said. “We should thank our citizens for continuing to shop here, continuing to develop the community, and for spending their money locally.”

Other general fund revenues include mineral royalties, which are expected to “remain stable” at about $640,000; severance taxes, which are showing an almost 18 percent estimated decrease for a total loss of about $70,000; supplemental state funding, which reflected a “slight increase,” coming in at an estimated $1.37 million; and property taxes, which are “more stable” and are estimated to bring in about $415,000.

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Expenditures in the general fund are expected to amount to about $8.2 million this year, Tolstedt said, up by about $240,000 compared to fiscal year 2022.

h/t City of Riverton

Grants

Grant funding will rise for the coming year as well: Tolstedt said grants account for almost 24 percent ($7.2 million) of the city’s entire budget for fiscal year 2023, compared to almost 10 percent ($2.2 million) in fiscal year 2022.

“This is in part due to the major capital projects,” Tolstedt said.

Projected capital expenses for the coming year amount to about $13.5 million across all funds, he said, compared to $7.2 million in fiscal year 2022 and almost $11 million in fiscal year 2021.

“Obviously (capital) is one of the significant drivers in the budget,” Tolstedt said. “Capital expenditures do make up about 45 percent of the overall budget.”

More will be required in the future, he added, noting that, for example, more than $7.8 million in five-year capital needs have been identified in the water fund, but only about $345,000 in capital expenses are budgeted there for the coming year.

“It’s a little scary,” Tolstedt said. “Looking at that increased capital need moving forward is something that we want to keep our eyes on, and it’s part of our conversations when we discuss things like rates.”

Capital costs in the sewer fund are “significant as well,” Tolstedt said, with more than $7.5 million in five-year capital needs identified and only $965,000 in capital expenditures budgeted for the coming fiscal year.

Five-year capital needs in the sanitation department exceed $2 million, Tolstedt said – “not quite as challenging” but still a “significant expenditure” – with almost $650,000 in capital expenses budgeted for the coming year.

“Looking at your rates in the future years, this is going to be a bigger conversation,” Tolstedt said. “In this next year we need to look at that a lot harder. … Ultimately we do know that there are some big conversations that need to happen, and we also need to look for those efficiencies internally.”

The Riverton City Council is scheduled to official consider the proposed budget for fiscal year 2023 in June.

The budget workbook is available here.

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