2017 Financial and Management Plan
KCATA would like to thank our stakeholders for their input and engagement in the 2017 budget process. This budget is supporting a regional transportation initiative to provide access to jobs, educational opportunities, medical needs, shopping and local events. It also supports economic development and other major initiatives and provides a lifeline to those with cars in a growing population. The budget was built on five strategic priorities:
- Regional stakeholder engagement
- Structural redevelopment of the organization
- Initiatives to increase ridership
- Financial sustainability
- Innovative solutions
The proposed Operating Budget for 2017 is $96,540,411. This reflects a growth of 4.1% from the 2016 Expense Budget of $92,714,768. The 2016 Operating Budget was balanced through the use of self-generated revenues, community contributions, sales tax collections and the use of reserves. The 2017 Operating Budget will be structurally balanced by the end of the year without any use of reserves.
Planned expenditures for the 2017 capital improvement program are $52,467,412, compared to $35,611,362 in 2016. This growth is primarily related to vehicle replacement, implementation of Prospect MAX, and facilities improvements.
Economic conditions and consumer sales play a major role in the generation of our sales tax revenues which the primary revenue source for the KCATA. The economic forecast for Kansas City, Missouri is stable and sales tax revenues for that period are projected to increase 1.5% per year based on prior year trends. There are still uncertainties at the KCATA that could have a significant economic impact including:
- Federal funding related to changes in the current administration
- Volatility of fuel prices
- Transit ridership
- Personnel costs
During the past year, KCATA has made significant strides toward fulfilling its mission as the Regional Transportation Authority. Early this year, the Commission endorsed the vision of “Quality Seamless Regional Transportation for Everyone” and challenged the organization with these three goals:
- Position KCATA to be a recognized leader in regional transportation and related development.
- Position the organization to meet current and future needs and opportunities.
- Communicate KCATA’s value in the vitality and economic growth of the community and the region.
These goals create a fundamental shift from an inward focus of providing transportation services to the global focus of ensuring that transportation needs of all stakeholders in the Kansas City region are met. To accomplish this transformation, KCATA needs to grow and change as follows:
- Forge strong regional partnerships through organizational stakeholder engagement.
- Structural redevelopment of the organization to be fully focused on being a regional provider of transportation services.
- Leverage the expertise of members of the Board of Commissioner and leaders in partner organizations through committee involvement in the areas of Finance, Marketing, Human Resources and Economic Development.
A portion of the expense growth related to these initiatives will be covered with federal funding and other local sources for operations and capital. However, the remaining budget growth resulting from these new initiatives will require use of $1,784,790 from the reserve balance in 2017. In the coming year, leadership will propose changes to the reserve usage policy to limit use to innovative or new programs or operating emergencies. Further, the revised policy will recommend that the minimum reserve balance will be 20% to 30% of the annual operating budget expense.