We continue to read that the Mayor & City Council of the Town of Ocean City are in need of additional revenue. Thus, the push for more parking meters and increased parking fees.
In recent strategic planning sessions, funding sources and money appear to be major topics of discussion.
The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2019, reveals that the Unassigned General Fund balance is at 27.5 percent.
The town has a stated policy of maintaining a reserve fund equal to 15 percent of General Fund expenditures. The 12.5 percent excess fund balance amounts to over $9.6 million in surplus funds.
This is equivalent to 11 cents on the property tax rate.
The CAFR further reveals that the town closed its books at the end of FY19 with revenue up $1.3 million over budget projections, while expenses were $2.9 million under budget.
This created a favorable variance of $4.2 million.
The M&CC continue a longstanding pattern of underestimating revenue and overestimating expenses. They have done so every budget year since at least 2013.
Over the last five fiscal years, the town has averaged $1.3 million over budget revenue projections, while averaging $2.3 million under estimated expenditures.
During the same five-year period, the average favorable variance is over $3.6 million. Simply put, the M&CC are over-taxing the property owners of Ocean City.
The bottom line is the town has an abundance of surplus money. Don’t be fooled by the M&CC’s recent narrative.
Vincent dePaul Gisriel, Jr.