City of Falls Church officials said they are “cautiously optimistic” at tonight’s City Council work session based on a final unaudited wrap up of Fiscal Year 2011, completed last June 30, which showed numbers $4.1 million more than projected.
The significantly better than expected results included $1.3 million more in revenues than expected, $2.1 million less in expenditures than expected and $1.3 million more than expected in appropriations to the fund balance (now not earmarked for grant or legal expenditures) for $4.1 million.
The good news is rooted in unexpected up-ticks in real estate, personal property, business license and sales taxes, although F.C. Chief Financial Officer Richard LeCondre cautioned the Council that “the surplus does not necessarily translate into the economy turning around.”
City Manager Wyatt Shields recommended the Council hold all the surplus into the City’s fund balance, and not run out to spend it. “It’s very comforting to see that we’ve turned the corner, we still have a long way to go,” LeCondre added.
He also said that regional jurisdictions are experiencing a similar phenomenon, although concerns for a national economic “double dip” recession was referenced by Shields, and the poorly performing months of July and August were not factors into the FY11 results, as Councilman Ira Kaylin pointed out.
The underspending of expenses in FY11 involved $1 million in grants not expended, $425,000 in uncompleted project costs and $286,000 in salary savings.
Also, real estate tax revenues were up $440,000, personal property tax revenues up $246,000, business license revenues up $312,000, sales taxes up $460,000 and meals taxes up $132,000. Cumulative other taxes were up $381,000.