A Bit of Good News amid covid-19: City of Worthington Finance Update, 8.31.2020
Back in April, it was projected that the city’s income tax revenue would drop ≈ 10% for the year, reflecting the anticipated impact of covid-19. But through the end of August, city income tax revenues have declined by a far more modest 2.4%, a trend expected to continue to year-end. Combined with all other revenue items (the hardest hit was our Community Center membership revenue stream) YTD revenue is down slightly less than $1 million actual to budget. Further—and this is what makes the overall picture positive—city staff, anticipating a sharp decline in revenue, implemented significant expense reduction measures totaling (budgeted to actual) over $3 million YTD. The upshot is that our city’s General Fund cash balance is now $2 million greater than projected ($14.8 million actual, compared to $12.8 projected). Not bad amidst a pandemic.
In sum, if trends continue as expected, we will end the year in a surprisingly strong position compared to what was reasonably anticipated as covid struck. Combined with significant development projects on the near-horizon, I believe it likely we will enter 2021 in a positive and hopeful position—with much work to be done of course. For this generally positive picture, I am grateful for all of Worthington’s employers who have managed to largely maintain payroll in the face of adversity and uncertainty, and to our city staff (kudos particularly to Scott Bartter, Finance Director) who have very capably managed city resources as the numbers above indicate.
The full August 31, 2020, financial report can be found here (pages 10-15): http://www.worthington.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3527
And the April 15, 2020, financial report, including income tax projections, can be found here (pages 48-52): http://www.worthington.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3393