Is it going to be enough?
McCreary County workers and businesses could see an Occupational Tax increase hitting their wallets by as soon as April 1.
But, will the additional revenue gained by the tax increase solve the financial crisis the County is facing?
A look at Occupational Tax collections over the past several years indicate that it will not cover the more than $300,000 shortfall predicted by Judge Executive Doug Stephens.
Going by collections in April and May last year, where just over $266,000 was collected, an additional $133,000 could be expected to be raised and added to the General Fund. June totaled only about $42,000, and would not be collected until after the close of the fiscal year, and may not be able to be used for bills in the current fiscal year. Even if it would be possible to be used, only about $20,000 in additional revenue may be raised.
In fact, the final three months of the last fiscal year saw the highest collections over the same span in the past four years. 2015 saw just over $306,000 collected, while 2014 collected $198,000 and 2013 finished the year with $222,000 added to the General Fund.
The tax increase will help County officials make a more realistic budget for the next fiscal year as over the course of a full year about $500,000 in additional revenue could be added to the General Fund.
Stephens said Tuesday he did not believe the tax increase will cover the expected costs over the next few months, and he is looking at other options to cover the shortfall.
“We are looking at all possible ways,” he said.