Seeking Vendors and Contractors
At Tuesday's Board meeting, a question was raised about the extent to which the County staff seeks potential vendors. In particular, there was a question whether or not searches extend outside of Mecklenburg County. The short answer is yes. Bid searches for most medium and large projects and services include proactive efforts on the local, regional, state and national level. In fact, based on the use of the World Wide Web, bidding is open to companies throughout the globe.
More specifically, the County's Minority/Women/Small Business Enterprise (MWSBE) service uses many resources to ensure qualified service providers from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region and across the country have access to the bid process. Companies can access bid opportunities on the County's MWSBE web site as well as through the City/County Procurement site. The latter includes access to the State of North Carolina's online interactive purchasing system. This E-procurement service has created an online statewide and national marketplace that provides a "one-stop shop" for any company looking to do business with Mecklenburg County (as well as the state and other N.C. jurisdictions).
Also, Mecklenburg County's MWSBE sponsors several outreach events to assist service providers in understanding bidding processes and how to make their service known to potential clients. Most recently, MWSBE co-sponsored an event attended by more than 200 small business owners from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region.
We have updated FY2007 revenue estimates since the revenue report at the Board's March 28 Budget/Public Policy Workshop. The preliminary estimate on March 28 revealed $40.9 million in growth revenue. The current projection that will be used for the County Manager's Recommended Budget is $61.4 million in new revenues available to the Board at the current property tax rate. The $20.5 million change from the preliminary estimate is due to more recent calculations for fund balance. FY2007 estimates for property and sales tax revenue have not changed.
The revisions to fund balance are due to recent projections that property tax, sales tax, and interest on investment revenue will be more than amounts budgeted for the current fiscal year. Most of the revenue in excess of budgeted amounts is attributed to property tax collections on prior years' taxes and discoveries. These unappropriated revenues roll into fund balance, allowing an excess over the 8 percent fund balance policy to become available for appropriation in FY2007.
These revised projections place the County in a very positive revenue position for next fiscal year. While there continue to be requests for increases in County services, the amount of growth revenue provides some flexibility in making funding choices. We will provide more details on revenue as part of the County Manager's Recommended Budget presentation to the Board on May 16.
--Harry L. Jones, Sr., County Manager