QUINCY -- Tax revenues collected by the city of Quincy are projected to be down by more than $600,000 in the 2018 budget year that ends April 30, and revenues are forecast to fall even more next year.
During Monday's meeting of the Quincy City Council, Mayor Kyle Moore invited the public to attend an update on city finances at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, at in City Hall, 730 Maine.
Comptroller Sheri Ray said sales taxes are expected to be down nearly $119,000 this year, home rule sales taxes down $291,000 and personal property replacement taxes down $411,000. The only good news on tax receipts is for state income taxes.
"We're getting 14 payments from the state" because payments had fallen behind in past years, Ray said.
Even after $208,000 is added to income tax collections, a $612,352 revenue shortfall is expected, Ray said. She projects that revenues will be down about $941,000 during fiscal 2019.
Director of Administrative Services "Skip" Bright said city agencies have been told to reduce spending to 2016 levels.
"Cuts are being made," Bright said.
Alderman Mike Farha, R-4, said tax revenues have been falling for a while.
"This is a national trend. Obviously people aren't going to quit buying from Amazon" and other online companies that don't remit sales taxes to the city, he said.
As chairman of the Finance Committee, Farha wants to hear from constituents.
"The public has to engage. We need to know that they're willing to live with and what they're not willing to. It's their government," he said.
In addition to general tax increases, the city could consider charging for yard waste collections or changes in the recycling program, Farha said. He also believes that revenue shortfalls mean the city might have to hold the line on personnel costs.
Aldermen also adopted plans to appropriate $1.169 million in motor fuel tax funds that will be used for street and other infrastructure projects. Director of Engineering Jeffrey Conte said the list of street projects has not been finalized.
The council also agreed to hire Brown Electric Construction Co. to relocate traffic signals farther from the street at 12th and Broadway for $120,806.45. The signal poles have been struck repeatedly when drivers of large trucks had trouble making their turns.
• Quincy Township's budget was increased by $6,000, which reflects the growth in equalized assessed valuations in the city and township.
• Aldermen sent four requests to the Quincy Plan Commission. Glenview First Addition has been proposed north of Koch's Lane and east of Bonansinga Drive, alcohol sales are requested on property at 1123 N. Fourth, a commercial building is proposed on residential property at 339 Ohio, and special permits are sought on four properties at 4604-4626 N. 24th.
• Richards Electric was hired to replace a high service utilities pump for $35,660.