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Shared revenue dip has little effect

A proposed loss in state shared revenue is among their lesser problems and one they can deal with, say Pierce and St. Croix county administrators.

Gov. Jim Doyle is proposing slicing $8.5 million from the $850 million a year fund. While one percent would be trimmed from shared revenues as a whole next year, the cut would hit some local governments harder than others.

The impact varies substantially among counties, cities, villages and towns because the distribution formula is based on property values and population.

"It's not devastating. We can deal with it," said Pierce County Board Chairman Paul Barkla, who is serving as the county's interim administrative coordinator.

The Doyle budget would mean Pierce County, which will get over $1.27 million for 2009, will get about $1.259 million in 2010, a drop of $10,864. The county's total budget is about $38 million.

"We're going to lose $10,000 out of revenues of millions," summarized Pierce County Finance Director Julie Brickner.

"We've been absorbing these cuts in revenue over time and will just do the same with this one," said St. Croix County Administrative Coordinator Chuck Whiting.

He added, "It could be worse."

The state budget would mean St. Croix County, which will receive $583,732 this year, will get $555,599 in 2010, a drop of $28,133. The county's total budget is over $80 million.

A bigger concern for St. Croix County is declining sales tax revenue directly tied to consumer spending.

During budget work last fall, the county's finance committee cut sales tax projections by $520,000. The county has been taking in about $5 million a year from that tax, but expects less this year and is monitoring receipts monthly.

Locally, the municipalities that will take the biggest hits percentagewise are the Towns of Clifton in Pierce County and Troy in St. Croix County, which are both looking at 15 percent cuts in shared revenue for 2010.

Clifton would get $21,607 in 2010, a cut of $3,813 from this year. Clifton has a budget of $291,500.

Troy would get $55,146 for 2010, a reduction of $9,732 from this year. The town has a current budget of $1.48 million.