Budget predicts gloomy forecast in 2011

Published on Wed, Sep 1, 2010 by By Tara Nelson

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The city of Blaine’s general fund budget will likely be short of its projected expenditures, according to a prelimary revenue forecast for the 2011 year.

In a special work session Monday, Blaine city staff unveiled a $4.4 million prelimary general fund budget – about 3 percent less than the 2010 budget of $4.8 million.

Blaine finance director Jeff Lazenby said the decline in revenue is largely attributable to a slow construction industry, a decrease in total collected property taxes and revenue from building permits. Sales tax from constuction projects constitutes nearly 25 percent of all general fund revenue.

“The bottom line is we’re projecting less revenue in 2011 than in 2010 but if you look at this from a state and national level, it’s not out of line,” Lazenby said. “We’ve not seen anything increase, unemployment is still high and the housing market is still in a slump. The good news is we’ve still been able to meet many of our priorities.”

The council will host another budget work session at 5:30 p.m., September 13.