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Louisville Metro ends last fiscal year with a $42M surplus

Louisville City Hall
J. Tyler Franklin
/
LPM
Louisville City Hall

Louisville Metro had a $42 million revenue surplus in fiscal year 2023, which ended in June. The surplus was driven by higher-than-expected tax revenue, according to city officials.

Louisville’s 2023 general fund budget, which pays for the city’s day-to-day operations, was $715 million, but revenue for the year totaled $757 million. Local taxes on wages and insurance premiums both generated more income for the city than budget officials predicted.

Angela Dunn, the city’s Chief Financial Office, told Metro Council’s Budget Committee Thursday night that expenditures from city departments also came in $15 million under budget.

“Most agencies ended the year either on budget or in surplus, with the exception of a few agencies that experienced increased operational costs due to personal challenges, fuel, vehicle expenses, etc.” Dunn said.

The revenue surplus, combined with agency savings and “accounting adjustments,” means city officials have roughly $59 million dollars to fund other projects and programs in the coming year. Louisville Metro also received a last minute check this week from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, which had a $10.2 million budget surplus. The Sheriff's Office receives millions from Louisville Metro each year and returns unspent funding.

City leaders already committed $42 million to fund the 2024 budget, which started July 1. That budget saw increased spending on public parks, police and affordable housing.

Mayor Craig Greenberg’s administration has proposed directing most of the remaining money to the unassigned fund balance, also known as the city’s “rainy day fund.” Under the plan, $11 million will be put in the rainy day fund. That pot of money is used to cover any unforeseen expenses Louisville might encounter during the year, or if revenue falls short of what's expected.

The Greenberg administration’s proposal would spend the other $6.3 million on salary increases within the Office of Management and Budget, as well as sidewalk repairs, traffic signal upgrades and improvements to California Park and Community Center. His plan also includes $1.5 million for the nonprofit Harbor House. The money will go toward their planned Intergenerational Life Center that will house a pharmacy, art studios and adult day care facilities for people with disabilities.

The spending plan was put together before the city was notified of the additional surplus from the sheriff’s office. On Thursday, Metro Council’s Budget Committee approved Greenberg’s proposal and allocated an additional $500,000 to the Harbor House project. The committee also approved $5 million for the nonprofit Volunteers of America, which runs affordable housing programs, veterans services and substance abuse programs in Louisville. The remaining $4.7 million from the sheriff's office will be used to pay down some of the city’s existing debt.

The full Metro Council will take a final vote on what to do with the surplus funding next Thursday.

This story has been updated.

Roberto Roldan is the City Politics and Government Reporter for WFPL. Email Roberto at rroldan@lpm.org.