Monthly Report--November 2009

Page updated on Jan 22, 2010 at 11:39 AM

Presented as a memo from City Manager James K. Hartmann to the Honorable Mayor William D. Euille and Members of Council on January 12, 2009.

Download Original Signed Memo (PDF)

NOTE:  Click on the headings below or the "online references" to view more detailed economic, revenue or expenditure data.  Click on any highlighted bullet or text to view charts.


  • Deflationary period ending:  The Washington area’s year CPI increased year-over-year by 1.6 percent, the first year-over-year increase since April 2009.  This return to a modest level of inflation mirrors the same national inflation rate trend. 
  • Governor Kaine proposed a budget which would negatively impact Alexandria:  In his FY 2010-2012, budget, departing Governor Kaine proposed significant reductions of intergovernmental aid to local jurisdictions.  Alexandria can expect reduced HB599 aid, Compensation Board reimbursements, and reductions in K-12 education funding.  Current estimates (to be updated in January) are a decline in General Fund revenues of at least $2.6 million and at least $4.4 million including special revenue funds.
  • Residential real estate market popped in November:  Residential real estate sales more than doubled to 183 in November 2009 from 84 in November 2008, which is the most homes sold in any November since 2005.  This reflects low mortgage interest rates and the incorrect perception that the limited term federal assistance for first-time homebuyers was going to expire.
  • Commercial real estate market still dead in the water:  Commercial property sales volume remains very low and no permits for major commercial building projects have been processed since July 2009.


  • Year to Date Revenues: As of November 30, 2009, actual General Fund revenues totaled $248.9 million, which is 2.5 percent above FY 2009 revenues of $242.8 million for the same time period last year.  With the submission of the FY 2011 budget on February 9, 2010, a revised estimate for FY 2010 revenues will be provided to City Council.  At this time, we expect that estimate to show a shortfall of between 1 and 2 percent (compared to the original FY 2010 budget estimate of General Fund revenues of $530.00 million), primarily due to lower real property revenues and intergovernmental revenues.
  • Personal Property Tax:   Revenues collected to date represent 96.0 percent of budgeted revenue. As discussed at the November 7 retreat, preliminary collections to date indicate revenues may exceed the budget by $0.2 million.
  • Local Sales and Use Taxes:  The substantial increase in sales tax revenue is primarily related to one-time repayments in the prior year (FY 2009) to Fairfax County of $1.5 million for sales tax collections from businesses with an Alexandria address that are actually located in Fairfax County.  Not including the repayment, year-over-year sales from August through October increased just 0.2 percent compared to last year.
  • Charges for City Services:  Increase in this category is largely due to greater year-to-date collections from parking meter receipts, refuse user charges, and ambulance fees.
  • Revenue from the Use of Money and Property:  Continued decreased revenue in this category reflects the extremely low interest rates budgeted and earned on City operating funds, which are conservatively invested for safety and liquidity reasons.
  • Intergovernmental Revenue:  The decrease in this category through November reflects a change in the timing of Federal payments.  Later in the year, the City may experience a shortfall in aid from the Commonwealth due to its ongoing budget problems.


  • Year to Date Expenditures:  As of November 30, 2009, actual General Fund expenditures totaled $183.0 million, a decrease of $7.7 million, or 4.0 percent, below expenditures for the same period last year.
  • Personnel and non-personnel costs: With 41.6 percent of the fiscal year completed, total expenditures are 34.1 percent of budget.  Personnel costs are running exactly on budget, reflecting the fact that 41.4 percent of the FY 2010 payrolls have been processed by November 30, 2009.  Non-personnel expenditures are 30.6 percent of the budget through November, so this percentage is only slightly below what is expected through the first five months of the year.
  • Debt Service:  The increase reflects budgeted debt service for bonds previously issued.