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Clerk-Treasurer

Posted on: September 22, 2020

Budget Update from Clerk/Treasurer Brenda Jeselnik

Village of Irvington
Impact of Covid-19 on Village Finances
September 21, 2020

There has been tremendous pressure on all Village Department Heads and employees to adapt and adjust to the challenges of working in a new COVID-19 environment and continue to serve the public.  Each department has had a unique experience with limitations, reduced staffing that we could not have imagined a short time ago.  Some of our departments have had to re-imagine how to serve, help, maintain and enhance the quality of services the Village provides.  

This report only addresses the financial story.    

Property Tax:  We had a strong first half collection. Collection rate at 95%.  With some homeowners paying taxes in full, the entire collection is ahead of schedule.    

Sales tax:  The increase in the tax rate imposed last August has tempered any decreases in sales tax revenue.  Sales tax received for April, May and June 2020 was nearly level for the same period last year.   Sales tax figures for July and August are up 29% and 28% respectively. Since the tax rate increase yielded a 30% increase, this would indicate that there is only a slight decrease in gross sales occurring over the summer. The State also expanded sales taxes to on line sales beginning last August.   September sales tax revenue will be more indicative of sales activity since it will be calculated on the same basis as the comparative year.  Increases in the tax rate were factored into the budget. 

Mortgage Tax: During the budget process, we lowered the mortgage tax expectation by $75,000 due to COVID-19 uncertainty.  If home sales were at the same level as last year, revenues would exceed budget by $100,000. The recent surge in home sales would suggest that we will exceed last year’s mortgage tax numbers. Our first payment is in October.  

Parking Fees: Monthly receipts from the Ardsley Train Station have been nearly non-existent. Fortunately, the revenue budget is only $15,000… but it is indicative of people not commuting. It will be interesting to see the response to annual renewals in January.   The entire revenue budget for commuter parking (monthly and annual) is $55,000.

Building Department: The Building Department has been extremely busy. Permit revenue is already 50% of the annual revenue budget.

 Theater:  No anticipated programs will result in a shortfall of $85,000 but will be offset by lower custodial expenses at $25,000. Annualized loss $60K. There may be some revenues for virtual performances, but not significant at this time. 

Court: Revenues for fine are down considerably due to suspension of parking enforcement and closure of the Court. Receipts received YTD $7,400 vs. $40,000 same period last year.  The hiring of an assistant has been delayed, offsetting this deficit. 

Recreation and Parks: There has been a tremendous pressure on staff to keep parks, and trails safe during this time.  With strong usage by the public, park maintenance has been high, but on budget.  There has also been pressure to assist our senior population and families in need with procurement of supplies and meal deliveries. With the cancellation of programs, they have been as creative as possible to seek alternative programs and revenue sources. Programs are slowly returning.

Recreation revenue, which is down significantly with cancelation of summer camp and teenscape is largely offset by those program expenditures.  

Unemployment: The current liability is approximately $60,000 of which half will be reimbursed by the Federal Government.  

Covid-19 Related Expenditures: In total, the Village has expended nearly $190,000 in COVID-19 related supplies, cleaning, and modifications to the work environment.  Of this, $73,000 was recorded in the prior fiscal year and the balance of $116,000 is a current year expense.  The Village has applied to FEMA for reimbursement and awaiting a determination. 

Other: Hurricane Isaias – Related cost of overtime and equipment were approximately $100,000.  A FEMA declaration has not been made as yet. Some items may be covered by insurance. Overtime, the largest component, is not.  

Recap: Fortunately, the Village is not heavily reliant on any of the areas that have felt the viruses’ impact.  Additionally, it is also reassuring that the Village entered the pandemic on a strong financial footing. Our 5/31/20 audit is in draft and confirms a $5,515,801 unassigned fund balance, an increase of $728,000 over last year.   

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