The Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority board approved a nearly $7 million budget for next year at its monthly meeting Wednesday night.
The county’s economic development arm proposed a spending plan with $8.15 million in revenues and $1.06 million in operating expenses. It also planned for $295,000 in pre-development expenses, which comprise legal expenses associated with closing sales and finalizing contracts.
Metroplex gets most of its revenue from sales tax receipts, but also gets some income from interest on loans and investment and interest income, among other sources.
The agency receives one half of 1 percent of Schenectady County’s sales tax revenue, but only after towns and villages divvy up 30 percent of that figure.
In 2012, Metroplex saw $8.01 million in sales tax receipts and $8.21 million in overall revenue. By the end of this year, Metroplex expects to see $8 million in sales tax receipts and $8.05 million in overall revenue. It has budgeted $8.07 million in sales tax receipts and $8.15 million in overall revenue for next year.
On the expense side, Metroplex saw $972,640 in operating expenses in 2012. This includes personnel expenses such as salary and benefits for the five people on staff, as well as office expenses, accounting and consulting services and office equipment.
By the end of this year, Metroplex expects to have $993,524 in operating expenses. It has budgeted $1.06 million in operating expenses for 2014.
Metroplex maintains the practice of over-budgeting its expenses and under-budgeting its revenues.
“We usually come in under the projections on the expense side,” said Metroplex Chairman Ray Gillen.
“We’re almost always under-budget, and we monitor the budget every month.”
The rise in operating expenses is due in part to a change in staff last year.
A part-time administrator retired and Metroplex filled it with a full-time person to help manage projects and comply with the many reports Metroplex is required to file with the state.