Presented as a memo to City Council from City Manager James K. Hartmann on February 8, 2011.
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 additional information, including charts and memos.
- The national unemployment rate decreased to 9.4 percent in November. Unfortunately, most of the decrease was due to discouraged workers leaving the work force. Alexandria’s November rate of 4.6 percent was a little higher than its 4.5 percent rate in November 2009.
- Alexandria’s economy is generally performing well at the end of calendar year 2010. Transient Lodging, Meals Tax, and Sales Tax collections continue to be higher than last year’s collections.
- CY 2011 assessed values increased 3.1 percent compared to last year’s equalized assessments. Residential real estate assessed values increased by 0.87 percent while locally assessed commercial real estate increased by 6.89 percent.
Year-to-Date Revenues: As of December 31, 2010, actual General Fund revenues totaled $269.8 million, which is 1.6 percent higher than FY 2010 revenues for the same period last year. Most of this increase is related to the other local taxes category, which is up 5.4 percent over last year.
- 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.
- Revenue from the Federal Government: The City has received $1.2 million in FY 2011 for the Build America Bonds subsidy as compared to $0.4 million in FY 2010.
Year-to-Date Expenditures: As of December 31, 2010, actual General Fund expenditures totaled $230.5 million, an increase of $3.4 million, or 1.5 percent, above expenditures for the same period last year. The revised budget reflects amounts that were appropriated in the supplemental appropriation ordinance approved in December. Personnel expenditures remain on par with last year. These personnel expenditures are just 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. Non-personnel spending increased 1.9 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.
- Fire: As discussed orally at the January 11, 2011, City Council meeting, the Fire Department is projected to be over budget due to overtime expenditures, primarily due to a large number of firefighter and medic vacancies in the department during the first half of the year. The department will continue to monitor overtime and other expenditures and revise the projections as needed.
- Debt Service: The increase reflects budgeted debt service for bonds issued in June 2009.
- Schools: The City currently provides approximately 76 percent of the estimated funds required to operate the City public school system in FY 2011.
ONLINE REFERENCES (ATTACHMENTS):
- Online Reference 1: The Economy
- Online Reference 2: Comparative Statement of Revenues
- Online Reference 3: Comparative Statement of Expenditures