As the impact of shutdowns and changes in consumer behavior begin to be known, cities across Ohio are beginning to evaluate where governmental finances stand.

The City of Delaware has begun that process, and on Wednesday, City Council’s Finance Committee held a meeting to evaluate where things stand.

In a review of the March Financial Report, Finance Director Justin Nahvi discussed where revenue and expenses stand as of the end of March.

Nahvi noted that with the General Fund, the twice annual property tax settlement was received and the City had an increase of 2% over the previous year. Income tax revenue is also higher, at about 3.8% year-to-year.

Revenue was stable in March, although the Finance Department is watching daily collections. It is also focusing on license and permit revenues, which are important for the City. Interest income is bound to decrease, Nahvi added, in both the General Fund and in the City’s enterprise funds. The City’s investments in StarOhio will likely see returns approach zero percent. The Fire EMS income tax, stormwater, water, and wastewater funds are performing as expected.

City Manager Tom Homan reviewed the 2020 Budget Gauge, a planning tool for pinpointing where things stand and how things might change. It currently has a “yellow” rating, which translates to “Budget Restraint.” That level indicates that “Department heads directed to be more cautious of spending, show restraint in purchases and implementation of new programs.”

It is too early to know what the impact of the decline of economic activity will be, Homan shared. The City is currently tracking expenditures to case of future reimbursement opportunities from FEMA or elsewhere.

In response to a Council member question, Homan said that he would be sharing more in the way of a timeline of “decision points” in future monthly meetings. With the income tax decline likely to start in April, Nahvi added, the City will have a better picture in early May.

Also in response to a Council request, Nahvi’s office will begin to track impact by industry category — hospitality, manufacturing, etc..

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