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Mayor Jean Stothert | City of Omaha

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(November 9, 2018)

The projected 2018 budget surplus grew in the 3rd quarter to more than $2 million. The surplus is now estimated at $2.6 million, up from $200,000 at the end of the second quarter.

The third quarter report (January-September) released today shows revenue remains slightly under projections, and expenses are under budget. 

The report also shows most city departments are under budget.  The Fire Department and Human Rights and Relations are the only departments over budget, with three months remaining in the fiscal year.

“We are optimistic that our surplus will continue to grow in the fourth quarter,” said Mayor Jean Stothert. “A surplus will be important as we prepare to implement an expensive, new solid waste collection contract in 2020.”

As required by the City Charter, an end-of-year surplus must be carried over to the 2020 budget or used for cash reserve. 

3rd Quarter Expense highlights:

  • Omaha Fire - $168,052 over
  • Human Rights and Relations - $107,399 over
  • Human Resources - $144,179 under
  • Public Works - $290,026 under
  • Omaha Police – $665,057 under
  • Planning - $501,659 under
  • Law - $218,598 under
  • City Clerk - $145,766 under
  • Library - $68,850 under

3rd Quarter Revenue highlights:

  • Rescue squad fees (GEMT) - $3.5 million under
  • Rural Fire District reimbursement - $1.5 million under
  • Utility Occupation taxes - $1.7 million under
  • Restaurant Tax -$76,522 under
  • Sales and Use Tax - $0.7 million over
  • Motor vehicle taxes - $0.7 million over

The expense overrun in the Fire Department is due to an increase in worker’s compensation.  The HRR budget is over due to the addition of the Assistant Director position.  The savings in the police department is due in part to an overtime reduction program.

The 2018 budget included $4 million in federal reimbursement for ambulance fees that will not be paid this year.  In 2017, the Nebraska Legislature passed LB 578, the Ground Emergency Medical Transport Act (GEMT), however the State of Nebraska did not implement it.  The bill increased Medicaid reimbursement for ambulance fees which are currently paid at a lower rate than cities' actual costs.  

When the legislative session begins in January, the City will attempt to correct administrative issues at the state level that have prevented us from receiving these funds.