The City of Falls Church scored a whopping $2.4 million surplus over budget in Fiscal Year 2019, which ended June 30, the City’s Director of Finance Kiran Bawa reported to the F.C. City Council at its work session last night. The actual numbers for the year were $92,983,636 in revenue (compared to a budgeted estimate of $91,076,688) and $89,368,305 in expenses (compared to $89,918,131 expected) for a net surplus of $2,456,774.
Big winners were sales taxes, which came in 11.7 percent higher than projected. Meals taxes were also 7.4 percent higher than its projections. Licenses and permit revenues were 42.6 percent above projections due to early partial payments on the Founders Row and West End development projects. Taxes revenues that came in lower than expected included personal property taxes (mostly cars), business gross receipts taxes and cigarette, water and sewer and transient occupancy taxes. Real estate taxes, the biggest source of revenue for the City was up by 0.7 percent over projections.
Councilman Ross Litkenhous suggested that the robust increase in sales and meals tax revenues above expectations may have been due in part to the City’s “Buy Falls Church” campaign late last year run in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce, a campaign that is slated to begin again this fall in the coming weeks.
The Council will take up at a later date how to spend the surplus, which by City policy is limited to one-time expenditures.