Quality of Life Episode Features City's Budget
By Pam Spencer, City Information Officer
PADUCAH, Ky - We are in a new normal,” says, Paducah Finance Director Jonathan Perkins. In this episode of Quality of Life, Mayor Bill Paxton interviews City Manager Jeff Pederson and Finance Director Jonathan Perkins about Paducah’s budget structure, changes in the budgeting process following the economic downturn in 2008 and 2009, internal consolidations and efficiencies, and challenges that Paducah and other cities face.
Perkins provides an overview of Paducah’s sources of revenue including the payroll tax, property tax, business license tax, and the insurance premium tax. Perkins explains that revenues from the insurance premium tax have fallen over the past few years from a recent highpoint in 2008 at $4.7 million. Perkins says for the current fiscal year, “We are projecting right at $3.3 million. We hope that next year it will level off, flatten out, and hopefully start to come back.”
With challenges such as state-mandated increases in pension costs and the high cost of fuel, Pederson says, “Expense increases have outpaced new revenue for the past several years.” To balance the budget, Pederson says he and his management team have focused on prioritizing programs, looking for opportunities to tighten the budget through program reduction or elimination. Pederson also says internal department consolidations and advances in the City’s use of technology have led to synergies and efficiencies. “By bringing like operations together, operations with a similar mission, you get a more effective operation. You get people who are more in communication with one another, share their thoughts, share their resources, and give more consistent and cohesive services back to the public,” says Pederson. Departments that have been consolidated include Risk Management and Human Resources, Inspections and the Fire Department, and Engineering and Public Works.
Also in this episode, viewers will learn about the investment fund and about debt management. Pederson says, “Debt financing is an integral part of city finances across the nation. It’s not an evil thing. It’s a necessary thing. It’s not something that you do more than you have to, but you do it judiciously and prudently.”
For more information about the City of Paducah’s budget, visit www.paducahky.gov.
Quality of Life can be seen on Government 11, Paducah’s governmental access channel. The episode also is online at www.paducahky.gov and the various social media outlets for the City of Paducah including Youtube and Facebook. Check the website for Government 11 program information, videos, news releases, and broadcast schedules. Quality of Life: City of Paducah Budget can be viewed on Government 11 starting Monday, September 24 at 11:30 am. It also airs the following Thursday at 9 pm, Friday at 11am, and Saturday at 8 pm. Daily programming information also is available by watching the informational slides that air on the Channel 11 bulletin board.
For more information about Quality of Life and other Government 11 programming, call Tom Butler, WKCTC Television Production Coordinator, at 270-534-3208 or Pam Spencer, City of Paducah Public Information Officer, at 270-444-8669.