Presented as a memo to City Council from City Manager James K. Hartmann on December 14, 2010.
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- The national economy grew at a slightly faster pace in the 3rd quarter. The annualized rate of growth in the GDP increased to 2.5 percent, still below the long-term average rate of growth.
- Alexandria’s economy is relatively strong compared to the national economy. Transient Lodging and Meals Tax collections are stronger than last year, while Sales Tax collections have improved recently.
- The volume of sales in the residential real estate market is extremely slow. However, the average calendar year-to-date price increased 3.5% compared to last year.
- Over the last three months, the number of foreclosures in Alexandria reached its highest level in over two years. These foreclosures are generally focused in lower value condominiums and in certain areas of the City.
- Detailed analysis of sales tax collections and the City’s foreclosure situation are available in Attachments 4 and 5 of the Monthly Financial Report.
Year-to-Date Revenues: As of October 31, 2010, actual General Fund revenues totaled $101.1 million, which is 7.7 percent higher than FY 2010 revenues for the same period last year. Most of this increase is related to the early payment of real estate taxes.
- Business License Tax: The increase in this category reflects a change in the timing of payments due to an increase in the number of businesses on quarterly payment plans.
- Licenses and Permits: The category decrease is due to the transfer of approximately $3.8 million in new construction fees from the General Fund to a special revenue account, beginning July 1, 2010, where they will be used to cover the cost of Code Enforcement’s New Construction Division, which is now self-financed from these permit fees.
Year-to-Date Expenditures: As of October 31, 2010, actual General Fund expenditures totaled $153.4 million, an increase of $4.5 million, or 3.0 percent, above expenditures for the same period last year. Personnel expenditures remain on par with last year. These personnel expenditures are slightly higher than the budget primarily because turnover savings are deducted from the budget on the first day of the fiscal year, while the savings are realized during the year. Also, funds to pay for the implementation of pay adjustments due to the Watson Wyatt Study, which were effective July 1, 2010, are yet to be appropriated in a supplemental appropriation ordinance, now scheduled for December. Non-personnel spending increased 4.8 percent. For most departments, differences in spending patterns for non- personnel this early in the year reflect the timing of bill payments and not necessarily changes in spending patterns. We are closely monitoring and controlling these expenditures to be at or below budget.
- Debt Service: The increase reflects budgeted debt service for bonds issued in June 2009.
- Schools: The City will provide approximately 76 percent of the estimated funds required to operate the City public school system in FY 2011.