City budget is tip top, for last year

By Charles Sercombe

Hamtramck’s finances look really good.

Well, for the fiscal year of 2011 — which ended last June 30 — that is.

That was the word from the city’s audit company, Alan C. Young & Associates. Jay Wilds, who represented the company, met with the city council Tuesday night and gave a brief overview of last year’s city budget.

It was one of the few years that the city received a spotless audit. And it’s a year that city officials will sorely miss by the end of this fiscal year on June 30.

That’s because there is a $3.4 million budget deficit looming ahead, and so far, there is no clear way to dig out of that financial hole.

But back to 2011.

The city finished the year with a $2.7 million surplus, which in government jargon is called a “fund balance.”

That surplus was made possible by a one-time only event. The city settled its dispute with Detroit officials over a tax revenue sharing plan involving the GM Poletown plant.

If you look deeper into the audit, the city was actually not doing all that well. It finished the year spending $300,000 more than it took in.

The bulk of the budget, 67 percent, was spent on police and fire service, which also included all of the pensioners from those two departments.

Most of the revenue, 52 percent, came from property taxes.

In total, the city collected $17.3 million in revenue, and spent $17.6 million in 2011.

Savor the moment, city officials.

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