Citing rapid revenue growth and continued efficiencies, Mayor Fischer announces $30.7 million FY22 surplus
Citing an outstanding economic performance in the fiscal year that ended in June, Mayor Greg Fischer today announced a $30.7 million surplus and plans to spend $10.7 million of that on essential services and to put $20 million in the city’s “rainy day” fund – allowing the incoming administration to address its immediate priorities.
The $30.7 million adjustment for FY22 reflects savings from Louisville Metro Government agency operations, as well as unanticipated revenue growth for the year, said the Mayor, whose original FY22 budget already included a $1.3 million increase to the rainy day fund.
“The next administration will face the typical challenges that come every budget cycle and the increase in the rainy-day fund will help them navigate those challenges,” he said.
The Mayor added that, “Our city has rebounded from the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic faster than most cities in the nation, and the budget surplus ordinance being filed today reflects that, as well as our work, over these past 12 years to build a lean, efficient government. I’m really proud of our team.”
He specifically expressed appreciation for the Office for Management and Budget staff, saying, “They have been able to help financially steer our city government through some very tough financial times. They are a skilled and hard-working group.”
From the initial “Great Recession” budgets to a 12 percent increase in pension obligations, the Fischer administration is now operating with 1,259 fewer employees than in its first budget in FY12.
The administration’s sound fiscal management has been recognized with the national Government Finance Officers Association’s Distinguished Budget Award for nine years in a row, and Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for 11 years.
“We expected some agency savings in FY22 due to COVID-19-related challenges in filling positions, here and across the country,” said Monica Harmon, the city’s Chief Financial Officer. “But the revenue growth was greater than expected, and there were also internal savings as agencies focused on spending time-limited American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds.”
The proposed ordinance, sponsored by Metro Council Budget Chair Bill Hollander and Vice Chair Kevin Kramer, would provide:
- $1.3 million capital investment toward the city Revenue Commission’s work to improve the tax collection system for residents.
- $1.5 million to supplement ARP Workforce Development priorities currently under consideration by Metro Council.
- $4.2 million to complete renovations of the former Youth Detention Center to house the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.
- $500,000 for the Department of Public Health and Wellness – $230,000 to continue wastewater monitoring for COVID-19 and $270,000 to provide temporary housing for residents who test positive for Monkeypox or COVID and have no means to isolate.
- $300,000 to hire additional staff and buy a vehicle to support Youth Transportation Services.
- $1.4 million to Louisville Parks and Recreation to address structural issues at the historic Hogan’s Fountain Pavilion in Cherokee Park.
- $1 million to Metro Public Works and Assets for lighting projects for an estimated four city underpasses.
The measure will be considered at a Budget Committee Nov. 17, and could be voted on by the full Council as soon as Dec. 1.
“This proposal builds on the work we’ve done to improve critical city services, build a safer city and continue our equitable economic recovery,” Mayor Fischer said. “I especially appreciate the partnership of Budget Chair Hollander and Vice Chair Kevin Kramer, and I urge the full Council to approve this measure.”
Hollander said he is pleased the end-of-year ordinance is being filed earlier than in past years, giving the Budget Committee and Council time to carefully consider all options and appropriation proposals. He added, “The surplus funds in this year-end ordinance will help with expenses we know will be rising. The prudent course is to save as much of those funds as possible for use in the future.”