TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local News

June 13, 2013

Corbin budget up a little from last year

City estimates about $570K in package alcohol tax revenue

CORBIN — By Jeff Noble / Staff Writer

It will take a few more meetings this month to make it official, but when all is said and done, the City of Corbin’s budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year will be up some $356,000 from last year.

In addition, the new budget will work in some revenue that wasn’t around when the present budget was being worked on. It is the amount of money from the sale of package alcohol in the city, which officials estimate to be around $570,000.

The new budget shows listed resources available and total appropriations coming up to $9,294,254. That is an increase of $355,192 over the current 2012-13 budget of $8,838,062. The total is made up of the resources and appropriations in the city’s General Fund, Municipal Aid Fund, LGEA (Local Government Economic Assistance) Fund, and the Arena Fund.

Of the $9,294,254 total for 2013-14, the largest chunk is from the city’s General Fund, which is listed as $7,420,700. Next is the $1,630,304 from the Arena Fund, with $170,000 from the Municipal Aid Fund and $73,250 from the LGEA Fund.

The General Fund budget for this year is up from the $6,585,258 the city allocated last year.

But there are some decreases, and that’s coming from the other three funds.

This year’s Arena Fund allocation is below the $3,400,000 budgeted last year. The Municipal Aid Fund was also down this year, after it was pegged at $255,000. In addition, the LGEA Fund is lower after it was budgeted last year at $155,000.

The $570,000 estimated from the package alcohol sales comes into the budget a year after the first sales were made in Corbin. Package beer was sold in the city for the first time on June 6, 2012, while package liquor and wine sales began in late September. In June 2012, the city received $22,435.64 in package beer sales.

Corbin Mayor Willard McBurney said the alcohol sales figured in this year’s budget is an estimate.

“We actually put around $550,000-$575,000 in the budget for that, with around $570,000 to be exact. We got that number with the figures coming in from the sales past and what we’re projecting. There will be some spikes during some months, like the holidays later this year and the sales really go up. You just don’t know. And if you had three-to-five more retail stores out there, it wouldn’t increase. How much was sold would just be spread out among all the stores, whether it be five or 15,” he pointed out Wednesday.

Some of the money from Corbin’s package alcohol sales goes to police and security purposes, while the rest of the funds go to the city’s General Fund, according to McBurney. Some of that money helped to pay for infrastructure improvements, such as building new sidewalks. But the mayor commented that a good chunk of the alcohol money will go to help businesses, which would continue with the new budget.

“We were able to give our retailers in the city a 50 percent reduction in their business license. And that was the result of the money coming in from the alcohol package sales tax the city received. And it would have been lowered some more if we had the occupational tax from Knox County,” McBurney said.

Overall, he added the budget has continued to be reined in because of economic conditions in the region. Still, McBurney brought up the city was able to give a small raise of 50 cents an hour to Public Works and Corbin Recycling employees.

He noted, “That’s all the city could afford, but we’re not laying off anyone. It comes at a time when other cities in Kentucky are cutting staff and laying off employees.”

One group that has already seen the tightening up of the city budget is the CIDC, the Corbin Industrial Development Commission, which is involved in getting industry and jobs for the city. The CIDC’s chair, Ron Herd, said Wednesday he got the news in a letter from City Manager Marlon Sams last month.

“We’re losing $25,000 from the city budget because the letter said that money came from Kentucky Off-Track Betting (KOTB), which was closing their Corbin off-track betting parlor. We were told we’d have to find the $25,000 either from another source or by cutting expenses,” Herd said.

Kentucky OTB blamed the reduced handle of betting at their locations for the closings in Corbin, Jamestown and Maysville. That happened this past Saturday after the running of the Belmont Stakes — the “third jewel” of horse racing’s Triple Crown.

Meanwhile, a second reading of the ordinance adopting the city’s budget for the new fiscal year will be held this Friday at 8 a.m. during a special meeting of the Corbin City Commission.

Along with the budget ordinance’s second reading, other items on the meeting’s agenda include disposition on the bids for the city’s cell phone, stone, paving and cell phone service. The bids on all four services were taken under advisement during the commission’s regular meeting this past Monday. City Commissioners are also expected to approve the property, liability and worker’s compensation insurance contract for the new fiscal year.

The new fiscal year begins July 1.

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