Income tax is Sidney’s primary revenue source



SIDNEY — The city of Sidney’s permanent 1.5 percent income tax is its primary revenue source supporting services including police, fire, emergency medical, parks and community recreation.

“This portion of Sidney’s income tax generated $16.3 million in 2018, up $1.8 million from the $14.5 million collected in 2017,” said Ginger Adams, finance officer. “Approximately $1.6 million of this increase was attributable to corporate taxes. Corporate taxes are a volatile revenue source subject to upward, as well as downward, swings from year to year. In 2016, corporate taxes totaled $4.9 million, falling to $3.0 million in 2017 and then rebounding to $4.6 million in 2018. Taxes withheld from employees generated $11.7 million in 2018, as compared to $11.5 million collected in 2017.”

Her report continues:

Sidney’s 2019 operating budget of $29.7 million represents a 2.3 percent increase from 2018. This budget is based on staffing of approximately 229 full-time equivalents which, while this is 1.27 full-time equivalents greater than 2018, represents a 6 percent decline, or 14 full-time equivalents, in staffing since 2008.

Sidney’s additional .25 percent income tax, dedicated to the repair of Sidney’s streets, alleys, bridges, curbs and gutters, generated $2.7 million in 2018 and $10.1 million since its inception. Over the five-year levy, this tax should generate at least $12.8 million. Sidney’s 2019 capital budget includes approximately $3.0 million dedicated to street resurfacing with $2.5 million of this paid for with street tax levy. Slated for 2019 is nearly $2.7 million of sewer plant and distribution system improvements, as well as approximately $1.3 million of water plant and line replacements.

Funding of the third fire station began in 2016 with the purchase of land. Another $50,000 was spent in 2018 for conceptual design, initial engineering and levy consultant. Pending levy passage in 2019, another $275,000 is budgeted for the next phase of design and engineering for the estimated $3.7 million station which will require hiring an additional three lieutenants and four firefighters.