The City of Willard is faring relatively well financially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our income tax collections remained strong during 2020, despite the coronavirus concerns,” said Lori Huff at the recent meeting of Willard City Council. “The employee withholding accounts for the 3.4% increase over 2019. Thank you to our local businesses who retained their workforce during 2020.”
Year-to-date revenue is $14,671,662, according to Huff. The year-to-date 2019 revenue was $14,005,189. The total revenue for 2020 was up 4.76% from the previous year.
Willard City Manager James Pomerich said this revenue includes special deposits the city would not normally receive, such as CARES Act money.
“In total,” he pointed out, we received just over $637,000 in stimulus money.”
On the expenses side of the coin, the year-to-date total was $13,423,065. For 2019, Huff said year-to-date expenses were $14,070,338. Expenses for 2020 are down 4.6% from the previous year.
“When COVID-19 hit, we reduced the budget for each department and put a hold on capital spending,” Pomerich explained. “This allowed us to end the year with lower expenses than expected.”
Tax collections for 2020 year-to-date were $3,506,882, Huff pointed out. The year-t0-date 2019 income tax collections were $3,391,596.
“Income tax collections for the year were up $115,286 or 3.4% from 2019,” she told members of council. “We budgeted income tax collections for 2020 at $3,380,000. We exceeded our budget by $126,882 or 3.6%.
“We began 2020 w2ith a total fund balance of $8,482,387 and ended up with a balance of $9,740,994,
she added, “for an increase of $1.248,597.”
Huff also told council the Ohio Supreme Court ruled the centralized collection of municipal net profit tax is constitutional due to the General Assembly’s authority to restrict municipal income tax. The Supreme Court also ruled, however, that it is unconstitutional for the state to charge the .5% fee to the municipality to cover the state’s administrative costs to operate the central collection scheme.
“We have been charged a total of $120.34 in admin fees since the program began mid-year 2018,” Huff pointed out. “While we are grateful for the Supreme Court ruling, we have not been hurt thus far by the administrative fee.”
Pomerich said the city has taken money out of savings over the past several years to help cover expenses.
“Due to the extra money we received,” he said, “and the expenses we cut this year, we plan on using this balance to put some money back in our savings.”
Huff also told council members of changes to the city’s utility bill. City council meeting information has been added to the back of the bill. The information on the back of the bill can be changed approximately once a year.
“We have a limited amount of space to include the information on the front of the utility bill,” she explained. “For the month of January, we reiterated the city council meeting information and pointed out that new utility rates are in effect with this bill.”
In addition, Huff said there are reminders to moved parked vehicles on marked streets during a snow emergency.