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Louisville Revenue Picture Slightly Better Than Expected, City CFO Says

city hall
J. Tyler Franklin
Louisville City Hall

Revenues for the fiscal year that ended June 30 came in a bit higher than expected despite pandemic pressure on the economy, Louisville Metro chief financial officer Daniel Frockt said.

He told the Metro Council's budget committee a number of factors including higher employee withholdings, building permits and collections from the Jefferson County Clerk and Jefferson County Sheriff contributed to the increase. The city also brought forward some motor vehicle taxes, which were originally expected in the current fiscal year, which started on July 1.

That brought the city revenue estimate up about $3 million higher to nearly $613 million, which Frockt said means Louisville may need to tap less of its rainy day fund. But revenue still fell well below the city’s original planned general fund budget of $623 million, and expenses for the last fiscal year aren’t finalized yet.

Frockt said it’s too early to know whether the city’s budget fortunes are turning, even as some aspects appeared more positive.

"It unfortunately is very tied to the virus and kind of to the policies around the economic opening and kind of economic fiscal stabilization from the federal government as well," he said.

U.S. Senate Republicans unveiled their new coronavirus relief package this week, which some Kentucky stakeholders said does not provide enough support. It does not in its current form provide funding for state and local governments.

The revenue estimate for the current fiscal year dropped more than half a million dollars to about $612.6 million. Frockt said that was based on the timing of expected revenue. He said his office is currently reviewing July's numbers, and said net profits taxes coming in July due to the delayed tax deadline may also be a bit higher than projected.

He's hopeful employee withholdings, a major source of city revenue, will also be stronger in July.

"But that would be one month. We'll have to see whether that can trend itself up or not," he said.

Frockt also provided an update on how the city has used funding from the first federal coronavirus relief package, the CARES Act, which allows it to reimburse certain expenses.

He said the city reported spending about $8.2 million on verified personnel expenses through May. Personnel expenditures for June were not yet finalized, and the same was true for contract, equipment and supply expenditures.

The departments that used the most CARES Act funding were Louisville Metro Police at $2.4 million and Public Health and Wellness at $1.3 million.

The city has budgeted $113 million in CARES Act funding for the current fiscal year.

Amina Elahi is LPM's City Editor. Email Amina at aelahi@lpm.org.