Aberdeen’s budget is on track, director says

Aberdeen Finance Director Kathryn Skolrood says the city is on target to stay within its budget this year.

The news isn’t necessarily a sign of strength for the local economy since the city was conservative on the tax revenues that would be collected in 2012. In fact, year-to-date sales tax projections of $1.7 million are down 10 percent compared to last year’s figures. But they’re just 3 percent lower than projections for 2012, Skolrood said.

Meantime, year-to-date B&O tax projections of $2.2 million are running 1 percent higher than the same period last year. That works out to a 7 percent increase over the expected amount, Skolrood said.

Notably, Skolrood said collection of B&O taxes from the construction industry is up 44 percent compared to last year. She said that mainly includes work from the AG Processing Inc. expansion at the Port of Grays Harbor and the pontoon construction project. Wood products manufacturing saw a 28 percent increase and merchant wholesalers were up 42 percent. Car sales were up 9 percent and restaurants were up 7.5 percent.

Aberdeen City Councilman Tim Alstrom, chairman of the Public Works Committee, noted that permits in the city of Aberdeen are down, however.

There have been 577 permits issued generating $124,854 in permit fees. That compares to 605 permits issued in 2010 at this same time, generating $205,567 in revenue and 693 permits issued last year at this same time generating $231,551.

At the end of last year, the city issued 1,360 permits and generated $339,193 in permit fees.