Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni Says Parish "Financially Strong" Council Adopts $645 Million 2018 Budget
GRETNA – Calling the Parish's bond rating "stable,” fund balance "healthy," and noting that the Jefferson is "poised" to lead the region, President Mike Yenni won council approval today for a $645 million operating and capital budget for 2018.
The Council unanimously adopted the budget. “It has been a pleasure to work with you all and you were always available if we had any questions,” said Councilwoman Cynthia Lee-Sheng. In the detailed budget, property tax revenue in Jefferson is projected to remain consistent with the 2017 amended budget around $226 million. The budget includes a net defunding of 6 positions in the general fund, an increase in health insurance costs of 9.9%, and a 1% reduction on the required employer contribution to the Parochial Employees’ Retirement System from 12.5 percent to 11.5 percent.
The 2018 capital budget increased by more than $7.6 million over the 2017 budget paving the way for more than $76 million of capital improvements in 2018 throughout the parish. A majority of the capital expenditures will occur in the public works area, amounting to approximately 75% of the entire capital budget with approximately 39% dedicated to drainage improvements.
Yenni called the 2018 budget “fiscally prudent,” noting that maintaining the general fund at a level that promotes growth in the Parish will be the biggest challenge going forward. “Jefferson Parish relies heavily on sales tax revenues as a major source of our Parish funding. The uncertainty of those proceeds in future years along with the rise in state mandated costs to the Parish and cutbacks in state funding will lead us to seek additional revenue building opportunities for future budgets.” Despite the funding challenges ahead Yenni labeled the Parish as being “financially strong.”
In an independent audit, the Parish was said to have “no financial deficiencies” in its financial reporting, something previous administrations have failed to accomplish. The Parish has also been awarded the Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards for the last 24 years and the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting for the past 30 years. The Government Finance Officers Association has issued both awards.