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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

David Robinson

David Robinson lives in Worthington with his wife, Lorraine, and their three children who attend Otterbein University and Colonial Hills Elementary. David is President and co-owner of Marcy Adhesives, Inc., a local manufacturing company. David has served on Worthington City Council since January, 2018, and is deeply committed to 1) advancing resident-centered policies, 2) supporting responsible development that enhances our unique historic character, 3) endorsing environmentally sustainable practices for both residents and city operations, 4) promoting the safety and well-being of all residents, and 5) preserving the family-friendly nature of our neighborhoods.