DONALDSONVILLE — The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office has approved a $30.2 million budget for the new fiscal year starting Sunday, counting on an overall revenue increase after a big year for sales tax and property tax collections in the fiscal year ending Saturday.
The new 2012-13 budget represents a $1.1 million increase in expenditures over the 2011-12 fiscal year, or 3.9 percent, primarily due to rising personnel and fuel costs, the budget documents show.
Deputies under Sheriff Jeff Wiley received a 1 percent cost-of-living increase at the start of last fiscal year and are budgeted to receive a 2.5 percent increase this coming fiscal year, budget documents show.
Capital outlay expenditures are expected to be down as Sheriff’s Office officials finish a new training center this year and plan primarily for vehicle purchases and computer purchases next fiscal year.
On the revenue side, the new budget calls for a 5 percent increase in property tax collections and a slight decrease in the half-cent sales tax revenue after the 2011-12 fiscal year revenues exceeded expectations by more than $1 million. Sales tax collections are expected to fall from $8.2 million to $7.6 million.
Property taxes are expected to rise from $12.7 million in 2011-12 to $13.3 million in 2012-13, the Sheriff’s Office budget message says.
Total revenues, which also include self-generated fees and grants, are expected to rise from $30.2 million in fiscal 2011-12 to $30.4 million in fiscal 2012-13.
The message says Wiley plans to roll his millage rate forward later this month.
After reassessment is finished in a reassessment year, local taxing agencies are required to roll back rates to the recommended level so they receive the same amount of money as the year before, despite increases in property values.
But taxing agencies can then roll millage rates forward to the previous rate and receive additional tax revenue. In most cases, a two-thirds vote of the taxing agency is required for the roll forward.
Outgoing Assessor Renee Mire Michel has called for the sheriff’s 14.48-mill property tax to be rolled down to 14.35 mills, according to her figures.
The budget message was read by Chief Deputy Tony Bacala on Monday during a hearing at the Ascension Parish Courthouse.
At the hearing, Wiley’s new fiscal year budget was adopted and the 2011-12 budget was amended with projections based on 11 months of actual revenues and expenditures. Wiley was in Washington, D.C., and did not attend the hearing.
Under the final amended budget for fiscal 2011-12, the Sheriff’s Office is expected to end the year with a $1.15 million surplus on expenses of $29 million. The surplus will raise the sheriff’s general fund balance from $14.97 million to $16.1 million.
The 2012-13 fiscal year budget calls for the Sheriff’s Office to end the new fiscal year with a $192,662 surplus, boosting the general fund balance to $16.3 million.