Escambia County government would like you to believe that they wisely used the 2006/07 revenue increase for additional services and capital projects. They have a schedule of sources and uses that they have released to the press.
It’s really a game with numbers in which they can attribute any line-item expense in the budget to being funded by the tax revenue increase.
What they don’t tell the voters or the press is that the county budget increased reserves $14.6 million.
In 2003/04 – before Hurricane Ivan – general fund reserves were $8.291 million. For 2006/07 it’s $31.75 million…more than tripled.
Here is how they want you to see last year’s budget
Increase in Ad Valorem (Property Taxes) $31,344,191
5% Anticipated Receipts* $1,567,210
Santa Rosa Island Property Taxes $6,595,082
Net Increase $23,181,899
Increase in Allocations to Outside Agencies $69,911
Neighborhood Clean-up/Trash Drives $90,000
Salary Survey Implementation for Clerk’s Office $154,720
Five New Positions for Park Maintenance and Recreation $204,880
Upgrade/Replace Work Order System $210,851
Increase in Software/System Support $226,845
Furniture/Property Appraiser $300,000
Land Development Code Re-Write $350,000
Increase in City Community Redevelopment Area $565,706
Increase in Code Enforcement $800,000
Computer System/Property Appraiser $1,000,000
Salary Survey Implementation for General Fund Departments and SoE $1,330,520
Increase in Medical/Food Contract Sheriff $1,422,305
Microwave Tower $1,500,000
Increase in Insurance (Property/Casualty and WC) $2,429,460
Ivan Loan Payoff $3,369,407
Hwy. 113 A $4,000,000
Salary Survey Implemenation for Sheriff $5,471,471
Total Uses $23,496,076
Note: Nowhere do they mention that they increased general fund reserves.