Monthly Financial Report - March 2015

Page updated on May 28, 2015 at 4:09 PM

Presented to City Council by City Manager Mark B. Jinks on May 12, 2015.

Download the full report here.

Report Summary

Similar to previous months in FY 2015,  slow revenue growth due to the regional economic slowdown continues to be a concern that staff is monitoring carefully. As of the end of March, City General Fund revenues are still projected to come in below the amount budgeted, but these projections have improved since earlier in the fiscal year.  Staff is carefully monitoring expenditures. The amount of expenditure savings currently projected for year-end is expected to be sufficient to keep expenditures below projected revenues.

As part of the FY 2016 budget process, City staff re-estimated FY 2015 revenues based on collections through March 2015.  This projection reflects the recovery of a portion of previous estimated shortfalls in the amount of  $2.0M in the areas of Local Sales Tax, Business License Tax, and Bank Franchise Tax, the revised projections are included on the Comparative Statement of Revenues (Attachment 1 on page 6). 

Through the end of March, 2015, General Fund revenues totaled $385.4 million, or 59.5% of the budgeted revenue which is 2.0% below the four-year average of revenue received. Sales Tax has improved slightly, although it continues to fall short of the budgeted amount. The current projection of $25.3M has increased by $0.7M over the forecast provided earlier in the year.  Business License Tax collections have also seen improvement; they are now projected to total the budgeted amount of $33.0M after previously being estimated at $32.0M. Property taxes have not changed materially since last month. The next significant collections for property tax will be in June when the first-half real property taxes are due. Other Local Taxes projections continue to remain consistent with the previous forecast. The one exception to the other local tax projections is recordation tax. Collections through March indicate a projection of $5.0M for FY15, which lowered the previous projection of $5.2M.

 As of March 31, 2015, General Fund expenditures totaled $420.8 million, or 64.9% of budgeted expenditures. Compared to the historical four-year average, the City spent 0.4% more of its budget in FY 2015, but has spent the same percentage of budget as this point in time last year.  Personnel expenditures are 4.2% lower than the four-year average percent of budget spent to date, whereas non-personnel expenditures are 2.2% more than average. Most of the variance between percent of budget spent in FY 2015 and the four-year-average is attributable to the timing of transfers to the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and other funds.

The economic indicator highlighted in this month’s report is the residential real estate market. Additional economic, revenue, and expenditure charts are also available on the City of Alexandria website at: alexandriava.gov/FinancialReports. Attached are General Fund revenue and expenditure tables produced by the Finance Department.

Revenues

Through the end of March, 2015, General Fund revenues totaled $385.4 million, or 59.5% of the budgeted revenue which is 2.0% below the four-year average of revenue received. Sales Tax has improved slightly, although it continues to fall short of the budgeted amount. The current projection of $25.3M has increased by $0.7M over the forecast provided earlier in the year.  Business License Tax collections have also seen improvement; they are now projected to total the budgeted amount of $33.0M after previously being estimated at $32.0M.  Business License Taxes are based on gross receipts were due to the City on March 2nd. Based on preliminary information, revenue collected from grocery stores and IT services are higher than 2014, and tax preparation consultants are also up. 

Property taxes have not changed materially since last month. The next significant collections for property tax will be in June when the first-half real property taxes are due. Other Local Taxes projections continue to remain consistent with the previous forecast. The one exception to the other local tax projections is recordation tax. Collections through March indicate a projection of $5.0M for FY15, which lowered the previous projection of $5.2M.

FY15 and Historic Monthly Revenues - March 2015

*4-year average data comes from FY 2011 - FY 2014 data.

March YTD Revenues - March 2015

*4-year average data comes from FY 2011 - FY 2014 data.

Revenue Variances in Detail

Revenue Variances in Detail - March 2015 1

Revenue Variances in Detail - March 2015 2


Expenditures

As of March 31, 2015, General Fund expenditures totaled $420.8 million, or 64.9% of budgeted expenditures. Compared to the historical four-year average, the City spent 0.4% more of its budget in FY 2015, but has spent the same percentage of budget as this point in time last year. Looking at expenditures excluding transfers, the City has spent 2.5% less than the four-year average. Personnel expenditures are 4.2% lower than the four-year average percent of budget spent to date, whereas non-personnel expenditures are 2.2% more than average. The charts below compare the current fiscal year to last year’s percent of budget expended for non-personnel, personnel, and total expenditures. Noticeable variances in expenditures from the four-year average include departments with vacancies, Housing, Cash Capital, and Cash Match for grants. Variances are detailed in the table below. Overall, the City is still on track to keep expenditures within budget for FY 2015, but expenditures continue to be monitored to ensure that the City’s expenditures remain lower than revenue collected.

FY 15 vs FY14 YTD Expenditures - March 2015

Percent of budget expended is 0.02% lower than in FY14, and is 0.4% higher than the 4-year average.

YTD Personnel Expenditures - March 2015

At this point in the fiscal year, the City YTD personnel costs are 2.7% lower than this month last year. These costs have been consistently lower than in FY 2014. Salaries and benefits are 4.2% below the 4-year average.

YTD Non-Personnel Expenditures - March 2015

YTD non-personnel expenditures are 2.1% higher than this point in FY14, and 2.2% higher than the 4-year average.

Expenditure Variances in Detail

Expenditure Variances in Detail - March 2015


Economic Indicators

Residential Real Estate Market

According to data from Metropolitan Regional Information Systems (MRIS) and the City’s Department of Real Estate Assessments, during March 2015, the average dwelling in Alexandria sold for $549,573. This represents an increase of 3.6% compared to March 2014.  The three-month average for residential real estate sales was up 24.8% year-over-year in March, and the three-month average median sales prices was up 8.2%, excluding foreclosures. The inventory for houses, the ratio of homes on the market to homes sold, decreased by 0.6 months to 2.0 months in March and the inventory for condominiums decreased to 2.4 month in March, reaching its lowest level since August 2014.

 Residential Property Sales Volume - March 2015

Residential property sales value 2 - 2015

Months Worth of Inventory - March 2015

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