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North Canton's 2013 Budget: What's Taking the Biggest Hit?

North Canton City Council had on Monday night its first reading for the 2013 budget, which, as Council President Jon Snyder describes it, is "a product in work."

City Council is moving forward with the city's 2013 budget, but it's yet to be balanced.

Council had its first reading of the budget at Monday night's meeting in Council Chambers, and, according to Council President Jon Snyder, it's "projected to be in balance."

"It's a product in work," Snyder said. "It's been a very arduous process — the most time-consuming budget I've seen in my time here."

Finance Director Karen Alger had presented a proposed 2013 budget at the Jan. 22 council meeting, and that budget showed the city's estimated spending exceeds its revenue by $3.6 million. And $1.4 of that deficit is in the general fund.

And, according to Cantonrep.com, city council will consider "fee increases, cuts in service, and possibly some layoffs of city employees as the city faces years of growing deficits."

A decrease in the general fund

The general fund decreased by $1.1 million when looking at 2012 appropriations and 2013 appropriations. It went from $9.1 million in 2012 to $8 million in 2013. 

That has much to do with the inter-fund transfer of the inheritance tax, Alger said. 

She cites Ordinance No. 134-06: "authorize the Director of Finance of the City of North Canton to transfer from the General Fund to the Capital Improvement  Fund any estate tax collections in excess of $300,000, for the purpose of funding infrastructure improvements and equipment purchases."

In 2012, the city transferred $1,542,122 to the Capital Improvement Fund for inheritance tax received in 2011 and only $800,000 will be transferred in 2013 for inheritance tax the city received in 2012. 

And, about $300,000 less will be transfers to fire, EMS and street for general operations.

Cuts in capital improvement

The capital improvement fund decreased by $2.7 million from 2012 to 2013. That's from $7.7 million in 2012 to $5 million in 2013. 

The main reason for the decrease? The North Main Street Project. 

Here's how Alger explains it: In 2012, the largest portion of the project was paid at a cost of about $4 million, with the remaining portion of the project to be paid in 2013 for about $1 million.   

The City was and will be reimbursed for nearly all the North Main Street Project, she said.

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