Last month on our Bayside blog, we shared some great financial news – Sussex County was expected to see a substantial surplus from the 2013 budget. The only thing better than an expected budget surplus for the county? News that there was, indeed, a significant budget surplus!
According to a recent financial report, Sussex County had a very impressive $2.4 million budget surplus at the end of fiscal year (FY) 2013. This was the fourth year in a row that the county has posted a gain of revenues over expenditures – a testament to the continually strengthening local economy. Our residents of Bayside know that there’s a long list of things to love about living in the Fenwick Island area of Sussex County, and a strong local economy is certainly high on that list. With many communities across the nation still struggling to recover from the recession, we’re acutely aware of how lucky we are to live in an area with such a positive economic environment.
Information from the Sussex County government credits the large budget surplus to the strengthening local economy and conservative budgeting practices. The housing market is an important factor in the local economy – information from the county states that an increase in housing-related revenues was a catalyst for the positive financial environment this past fiscal year.
When the budget surplus was initially predicted in the final months of 2013, the two main influencing factors cited were the improvement of the local real estate market and the increase in new development construction in the area. The following is a snapshot of local real estate and new development construction in Sussex County in the third quarter of 2013:
- As of November 2013, construction revenue was 45% higher than what was expected in the county budget.
- In November 2013, there was a 33% increase in dwelling permits compared to November 2012 – a sign of increasing development construction.
- Single-family home sales in the third quarter of 2013 were 21% higher than the same time period in 2012.
- Homes in the county were sold at a 14% higher price in the third quarter of 2013 than the same time period in 2012.
As a new home construction community in Sussex County, our Bayside community is delighted to hear that construction was such an important part of the local economy in 2013. We’re confident in the power of new home construction to bolster local economies, and we’re proud to be involved with such an important part of the Sussex County economy.
The budget surplus for FY 2013 was more than twice the amount of the surplus in FY 2012, which was $854,000. In 2012, the budget surplus was used to award grants to local libraries and helped pay for additional state troopers. Sussex County residents can look forward to planned increased funding for the county’s pension fund, future capital projects, and the community development emergency housing fund as a result of the FY 2013 budget surplus.
At Bayside, we’re excited to see how Sussex County residents benefit from the efficient management of their taxpayer dollars and the resulting budget surplus. As a result of its efforts, the county is hoping to receive the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting award from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada. County leaders are confident that the reward will be received for the FY 2013 report – and they have good reason to be, as it would be the 11th straight year the county would receive this award.
It’s not even February yet, but with this encouraging information about the budget surplus, it looks like 2014 is already shaping up to be a great year for Sussex County. We’re looking forward to seeing what this year has in store for our Bayside residents, and we can’t wait to be continually reminded of all the benefits to living in Sussex County.