City Budget Reinforces Short-term Approach

By Kathleen Sloan

HERALD Reporter

The Truth or Consequences City Commission will probably pass the final budget for this fiscal year starting July 1, 2012, and ending June 30, 2013, at the Tuesday, May 22 meeting. The final budget is on the agenda, and is due to the Department of Finance & Administration by June 1.

The City of Truth or Consequences budget is unusual. It owns its own electric utility, which provides it with a major revenue stream.

Most cities live or die on their gross receipts taxes.

Truth or Consequences’ general fund, the big checking account for the city, depends nearly equally on GRT and profit from the electric utility to pay its bills, and has done so for years.

The city’s electric, water, solid waste and wastewater divisions’ revenues and expenditures are all lumped into what is called the Joint Utility Fund. The electric division has often been referred to as the “cash cow,” and it is milked to the greatest degree.

This upcoming budget, discussed at a special work session – held Thursday, May 10 – shows transfers out to the general fund, not just from the electric utility, but water and solid waste utilities.

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