First-quarter budget ‘right on track’

COVINGTON, Ky. - One fourth of the way into the City of Covington’s fiscal year, the City’s finances are right on schedule in regards to both spending and revenue, Finance Director Muhammed Owusu told elected officials tonight.
“There are no surprises - nothing to get excited about, nothing to cause concern,” Owusu said. “It’s early in the year, of course, but we’re right on track.”
Owusu’s summary of the City’s First Quarter Financial Report came during his presentation at the weekly meeting of the Covington City Commission. The regular report, which he started doing shortly after he arrived at City Hall earlier this spring, is part of the administration’s ongoing effort to keep the Commission apprised of Covington’s finances.
At this point, Owusu conceded, there’s not much to see. Three months into the fiscal year, the City had spent about 21 percent of its $52.8 million General Fund budget, including 24 percent of its projected personnel costs. It also had collected about 21 percent of its projected revenues for the year.
And while Owusu gave numbers that allowed the Mayor and commissioners to look deeper, he said it was important to have context for the in-the-weeds numbers.
For example, the City collected only 13 percent of its projected property tax revenues in the first quarter, which ran from July 1 to Sept. 30. But since property tax payments weren’t even due until Oct. 15, after the first quarter had ended, that number is alwayslow this early in the cycle.
“What’s important for residents to know is that we’re not dipping into reserves to pay for daily operations, meaning we’re living within the budget that the Commission approved in June,” he said.
Commissioners questioned Owusu about some of the numbers and asked him to provide year-to-year comparisons on future presentations.
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