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New Castle County Finances  

+ Information for new Senior applicants to apply to the State of Delaware School Tax Credit Program. This information is also available on the Finance Website, in County Libraries and at Senior Centers. The new due date is now April 30th.

6/11/13 - Real Estate Transfer Tax - May

Please find attached the FY 2013 monthly real estate transfer tax schedule as of the end of May.  Through May 2013 we have collected $17,870,855. We are estimating to collect by the end of June $19,400,000 compared to the original budget estimate of $16,250,000.

YTD the number of transactions under $500,000 have increased 15.8%  (2,446 vs. 2,832) however the value of those transactions are down 1.2% ($222,853 vs.  $220,132) when compared to May 2012.

We did see a 4.1% increase in the value of April 2013 transactions vs. May 2013 transactions.

 

5/7/13 - RTT Collections Through April

Please see attached schedule for FY 2013 RTT collections through April.

For the month of April we collected RTT of $1,877,726. YTD we have collected $16,701,097 compared to $12,956,033 which is an increase of 24.04% over last year. Current projections indicate RTT for the year to be at $18.4 million compared to original budget estimate of $16.3 million.

When comparing YTD activity for transactions under $500,000 for the same 10 month period of FY 2012 vs. FY 2013 there has been a 16.5% increase in the number of transactions (2,189 vs. 2,551) but the value of those transactions are 1.6% below last year ($224,346 vs. $220,723).

However,  for under $500,000 transactions we did see both an increase in transactions and value when comparing March 2013 to April 2013 activity. We saw 56 more transactions (239 vs. 295)  and a price increase of 2.8% ($200,743 vs. $206,375).

Noteworthy,  for First Time Homebuyer activity in April we had one single home sales transaction of $1,115,000 that qualified for the County first time homebuyer credit which was $8,362.50.

 

3/5/13 - Real Estate Transfer Tax Activity Through 2/28

From: Milowicki, Edward

Please find attached RTT activity through February. Through February we have collected $13.1 million which is 24.18 % above last year for the same time period. Current projections for the year now estimate RTT collections of $18.4 million compared to original budget estimate of $16.3 million.

For real estate transactions under $500,000 we have seen a 13.7% increase in the number of transactions (2,017 vs. 1,772). The value of those transactions continue to be below the previous year by 1.1% ($225,190 vs. $227,581) but the difference in current year vs. prior year sales prices has decreased over the past few months indicating that home values are starting to increase again.

For First Time Home Buyers the County has provided exemptions to 1,012 first time buyers totaling  waived RTT fees of $1,689,858.

Would be happy to answer any follow up questions.

 

2/8/13 - RTT Update through January

From: Milowicki, Edward

Please find attached the updated RTT collection schedule by month through January. Through January we are 25.45% or $2,459,139 above what we collected last year for the same time period ($9,671,264 vs. $12,130,403).

The original RTT revenue estimate for the fiscal year was $16,250,000. The latest year end projections now indicate we can reach $18.0 million in RTT with the possibility of reaching $19.0 million if the sale of the section of the Christiana Mall is finalized by the end of this fiscal year which would give the County an additional $1.0 million.

For sales transactions under $500,000 we have seen a 15.5% increase in those transactions (1,610 vs. 1,860) but the average value of those transactions has decreased by 2.6% ($232,808 vs. $226,734).  

Also, attached is a schedule of transactions year to date by category compared to last year through January.

 

1/9/13 - RTT Update Through December

From: Milowicki, Edward

Please find attached the RTT collections through December. Through December we have collected $10,758,948 which is 24.54% more than last year for the same time period.  We are now projecting RTT for the year to come in between $17,500,000 and $17,800,000 compared to original budget estimate of $16,250,000.

For the number of sales transaction under $500,000 we have seen a 15% increase in those numbers (1,411 vs. 1,623).  However, the average value of those transactions still lag compared to last year by 3.4% ($235,258 vs. $227,260).

We had three large transactions in December as noted below:

175 Lots at Highpoint at St Georges - RTT $108,375.
New Castle Towne Center                  - RTT  $103,500 (100 Picard Rd)
4041 Ogletown Roaad                          -  RTT $131,235

For transactions over $1.0 million we have had 43 compared to 30 last year.

Through December we have provided RTT exemptions to 845 first time homebuyers for a total lost RTT revenues of $1,364,241 to NCC.

We will continue to monitor RTT transactions daily and provide updates.

 

12/19/12 - FY 2013 Projections and Updated Checkbook through 11/30

Attached are updated FY 2013 General and Sewer Fund Projections with actual activity through November. Also, attached are updated General and Sewer Fund Checkbook projections for the period 2014-2017.

General Fund

The General Fund is projected to end the fiscal year with revenues exceeding expenditures by $1.4 million. General Fund Revenues are projected to be $0.3 million under the original budget estimate. Gains in actual RTT revenues over budget ($16.2 budgets vs. $17.5 projected) have been offset by Sheriff Fees which are projected to be under budget by $1.6 million ($6.6 budget vs. $5.0 projected). Sheriff fees are down primarily due to the Mortgage Mediation Requirement that was put in place by the State of Delaware that slowed down Sheriff Sales.

Per code, any RTT over the original budget estimate can only be used for capital, debt service and economic initiatives.

General Fund expenditures are projected to be spent at 99% of budget by year end or $1.6 million under budget.

Sewer Fund

The Sewer Fund is projected to end the fiscal year with a shortfall of $1.4 million. Revenues from Sewer Fees are expected to meet budget however we have seen a decrease in industrial sewer fee revenues due to factory and plant activity being decreased.

Sewer Fund expenditure are projected to be at 99% of budget or $1.0 under budget. Have not yet received the final reconciliation from the City of Wilmington for the FY 2012 sewer treatment billing.

 

12/4/12 - Real Estate Transfer Tax Activity through November

Attached is the Real Estate Transfer tax collected through November.

Through November we have collected $9.065,002 which is 21.39% higher than last fiscal year for the same time period. The Original Budget Estimate was $16,250,000 for the year. Based on activity for the first five months we are now projecting to be in $17.0 million to $17.5 million range at year end. Per County Code any amount over the $16,250,000 can only be used toward capital projects. debt service, and economic development.

For normal real estate transactions under $500,000 we have seen a 14.2% increase in those transactions (1,192 vs. 1,381). However, the average value of those transactions has decreased by 3.6% ($237,387 vs. $ 228,761).

First Time Homebuyers in November: For the month the County abated $256,403 in RTT fees for First Time Homebuyers. Noteworthy, was that we had someone who purchased a home for $2,100,000 and received the first time home buyer exemption. Also, had 7 other transactions over $500,000 that got the credit. (see attached RTT 1 st time home buyer schedule).

Overall, we are up in all the various categories we monitor for RTT (see RTT Summary Nov FY 2013 schedule attached).

 

11/19/12 - Checkbook Update and FY 2013 Projections

Please find attached the updated FY 2013 Projections for the General and Sewer Funds through 10/31 as well as Checkbooks for both the General and Sewer Fund.

General Fund

Through October revenue activity is mixed. RTT is now projected at $17.0 million for the year versus original budget estimate of $16.2 million.  Per County Code any excess RTT over original budget must be used for debt service, capital projects or economic initiatives.

Revenues from Sheriff Sales has dropped off quite a lot because of the required mediation process that was put in place.  Revenues from the Sheriff Office are currently projected to be $1.0 million under the original budget estimate but could be as much as $2.0 million under budget.

In the Building and Construction area there is still steady activity in Building Permits being issued but very little activity in the Subdivision area.

Overall, total general fund revenues are projected to meet budget estimates or be slightly below revenue estimates in the range of $0.5 million to $1.0 million.

Expenditure activity is projected to be spent at 99% of budget. At this time there are no major expenditure issues at this time.  Salary budgets for departments may be affected by the number of severances paid out this year.  We continue to monitor gasoline prices.

The General Fund Available Financial Reserves (excludes Rainy Day Reserve) at 6/30/2013 are projected to be $57.2 million.

Sewer Fund

Residential Sewer bills will be mailed out in January and are due in February.  Sewer Activity from Industrial Users is below what we expected so far for the year and we will continue to monitor.

Expenditure activity projects 99% of budget to be spent. The City of Wilmington sewer treatment true up still has not been received which may affect the Sewer Budget.

The Sewer Fund Available Financial Reserves (excludes Rainy Day Reserve) at 6/30/2013 are projected to be $13.5 million.

 

11/5/12 - RTT Activity Through October

From: Milowicki, Edward

The attached schedule shows RTT activity through the first four months of this fiscal year. We are now projecting RTT to reach $17.0 million compared to our original budget estimate of  $16.3.

Overall, RTT collections are $1,399,444 or 22.35% over the same time period as last fiscal year.($ 7,660,846 vs.  $6,262,413).

For transactions under $500,000 there was a 14.0% increase in the number of transactions (1,100 vs 965) however the value of those transactions is 4.4% below last year ($ 230,195 vs. $240,698).

First Time Home Buyers make up 33.5% of all transactions to date. The County has foregone $912,744 in RTT fees from first time home buyers which are exempted under the County program.

Would be glad to answer any follow up questions.

 

10/3/12 - NEW School Tax Credit info sheet from State

From: Milowicki, Edward

Please find attached the notification that each County is to use concerning the program changes to the School Tax Credit program that the State of Delaware recently enacted.

The Finance Office will post on our web page and also include a notice in the upcoming residential sewer billing.

Appreciate if you could make your constituents aware of these changes as you go out to your community meetings.

9/7/12 - RTT Collections Through 8/31

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attached are the RTT collections for the first two months of Fiscal Year 2013. Through August we have collected $3,896,162 which is 16.73% higher than last fiscal year.  We have had two large RTT transactions so far this fiscal year. The First State Plaza sold in July which resulted in RTT of $375,750 and in August the Haverford Place Apartments sold with RTT of $123,075.

The Good News so far this year is that for transactions under $500,000 we have seen a 10.5% increase so far this year and the average value of those transactions rose 1.1%.

Noteworthy for the month of August was that we had 322 properties go to settlement under $500,000. We would have to go back to November of 2007 (330 transactions) to find that many under $500,000 transactions in one month.   

We will continue to monitor RTT activity on a daily basis.   

8/17/12 - Year End 2012 Results and Checkbook

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attached are the preliminary 2012 year end results for both the general and sewer fund budgets. These numbers are unaudited at this time as the auditors will be returning in September to begin the 2012 audit.

I have also included the June checkbook for your information.

Debt Service numbers for FY 2013 through  FY 2017 have not been updated yet to reflect the refunding and new bond issue that both took place just this week. For the refunded bonds the County realized refunding savings of $4.2 million for the general and sewer funds of which $3.8 million will be realized in the FY 2014 and FY 2015 Budgets.

7/9/12 - RTT Summary for FY 2012

From: Milowicki, Edward

The total amount collected for FY 2012 was $15,841,722.  The original budget estimate was $16,000,000, so we ended the year falling short of budget estimate by $158,278. Compared to last fiscal year (FY 2012) RTT fees are down 4.2%. The amount collected for FY 2012 was the lowest RTT received since FY 1998. FY 1999 is when the County’s share of RTT was increased to 1.5% so FY 2012 is the lowest since the County’s share was changed.

We saw the number of transactions under $500,000 increase from 2,411 to 2,667 (10.6%) but the average value of those transaction decreased from $238,884 to $222,618 or a 6.8% drop.

For First Time Homebuyers there were 1,387 buyers that took advantage of this program and the County exempted $2,217,595 in RTT fees.

Attached are various schedules which show activity for the FY 2012. Values, Summary

Would be glad to answer any questions.

6/1/12 - RTT collections through May

From: Milowicki, Edward

Through May we have collected $14.4 million in RTT compared to $15.3 million collected for the same time period last year. That equates to a 6.27% reduction. In order to reach the FY 2012 budget estimate of $16.0 million we would need to collect $1.6 million for the month of June. Last June we only had RTT collections of $1.2 million.  

May transactions included one large transaction. The property at 5301 Limestone Rd. (Stoney Batter Office Park) sold resulting in RTT of $100.500 to NCC.

YTD through April  the real estate transactions under $500,000 are up 11.7% (1,960 vs. 2,189) .  However, the average value of those transactions are down 6.0%. ($238,565 vs. $224,346).

We will continue to monitor daily transaction activity in June.

4/19/12 - Fiscal Update and Checkbook

From: Milowicki, Edward

I will be reviewing the Checkbook at the Council Finance Meeting of 4/24.

Attached is the FY 2012 Fiscal Update for the General and Sewer Fund as well as the checkbook for both funds with the FY 2013 proposed budget in the checkbook through March.

The General Fund is currently projected to end the year with a $0.7  million operating gain primarily due to expenditure budget savings of 1%. We are projected to spend $162.5 million (99%) vs. a budget of $163.8 million  Budget Savings are in Salaries, Utilities and Contractual line items. Revenues are slightly below budget due to transfers. Loses in interest earnings and real estate taxes are offset by a large one time building permit from the A.I DuPont Hospital Addition and Sheriff Office Activity for the first half of the fiscal year. We have seen a big drop off is Sheriff Sale activity in the residential area (required mediation) however we have had a few large apartment and commercial sites go to Sheriff Sale from which large fees were earned.

The Sewer Fund is  currently projected to end the year with a $0.4 million operating gain primarily due to expenditure budget savings of 2%.  We are projected to spend $67.6 million (98%) vs. a budget of $69.1 million. Budget savings are primarily in the salary line item due to vacant positions and
In the utility line item. Revenues are anticipated to be $0.7 million (99%) below budget due to less sewer service revenue than anticipated and other sewer fees coming in below budget.

The General Fund Checkbook shows  GF annual operating deficits starting in FY 2014 through FY 2017 in this presentation leaving available cash reserves at the end of FY 2017 with $7.4 million. This assumes no tax or fee increase or service reductions. Also assumes no COLA for employees.

The Sewer Fund Checkbook shows SF annual operating deficits from FY 2013 through FY 2017. The Sewer Fund would exhaust available cash reserves at the end of FY 2015 assuming no sewer fee increase or service reductions. Also assumes no COLA for employees.

2/20/12 - RTT Update

FYI Please see attached.

Through January we have collected $9,664,827 compared to $10,246,229 for the same period as last year. This represents a 5.7% reduction. We are still projecting to receive the estimate of $16.0 million for the year.

For transactions under $500,000 the number of transactions are up 13.0% compared to last year however the value of those transactions has dropped 5.2%.   The under $500,000 transactions has averaged $232,808 so far this year compared to $245,545 for the same time period.  The increase in sales activity has been offset by declining home value.   

FYI we had two sales over $400,000 and one sale over $500,000 in January that received the First Time Home Buyer Credit. For the entire fiscal year NCC has given $1.3 million in RTT credit for First Time Homebuyers.

 

1/8/12 - RTT Update

From: Milowicki, Edward

Below you will find the New Castle County Home Sales Report November 2011 for your review. 

Attached you will find schedules for RTT activity collected through December.  Through December RTT collections are 7.60% below collections for the same time period as FY 2011.  The number of under $500,000 transactions are above last year (12.2%), however the average transaction price has dropped 3.3%. As you will read in the report below homes in November sold for 89% of their asking price. RTT for the year is estimated to be $16.0 million.

For First Time Home Buyers the County has foregone through December RTT fees of $1.1 million
 
From: Steve Larrimore <Steve@SteveLarrimore.com>
Date: January 5, 2012 6:17:56 PM EST
To: Stephen Larrimore <Steve@SteveLarrimore.com>
Subject: New Castle County Home Sales Report November 2011

  • I am adding a statistic on the percentage of homes settled that are bank owned.  There have been a number of analysts who have suggested that as these decline, prices will begin to rise due to their lower sale prices.  One article said that as long as that number stays around 33%, prices can stabilize.  Sales here were only about 18% bank owned in November.  That is up a bit from the summer but down from the beginning of the year.  We have only seen it above 20% twice in the past couple of years. 
    Bank owned properties generally sell for less money due in no small part to the condition that the banks receive them but also the way they are allowed to deteriorate after they get them.  You should also take into account that politics also have an effect on how many homes are foreclosed upon.
  • One hopeful sign for the residential real estate market comes from hedge fund managers of all places.  Several hedge funds have been buying housing-related investments according to the Wall Street Journal.  So they are convinced enough of a rebound to bet real money on it.
  • For what it's worth, Goldman Sachs is quoted in the same article as saying, "The housing-price bottom is probably in sight."  They also predicted a 30% gain over the next 11 years after a possible further 3% decline in 2012. 
    The question is always, "Where?"  Real estate is all local, so even if their prediction does pan out nationally if a local market matches the national stats, it is only a coincidence.  But prices this area did not go nearly as crazy as some other places in the country and we have already given back all of the gains experienced since about 2004.  We are in a good position to participate in any housing recovery.

Home Sales Report for New Castle County

NOVEMBER 2011
Median Settled Price for November 2011: $191,000 down 9% vs. November 2010.
     Mean Settled Price: $207,520 down 13%.
Settled properties sold on average for 89% of listed price the same as November 2010.
Median listed price of homes Pending* in November 2011: $180,000.
(*Pending means properties that are under agreement but not yet settled.)
Median listed price of all homes For Sale during November 2011: $199,900 4.5% higher than homes pending this month.
Homes Pending: 398: up 59 units or +17% vs. November 2010.
Homes For Sale on 12/30/2011: 2,949; a 7.6 month Supply¹ down from 8.4 on 11/29/2011.
Homes Settled year to date through 11/30/2011: 3,971 up 63 units or +4.6% from 11/30/2010.
New Listings in November 2011: 576 down 130 listings or -18% vs. November 2010.
Bank owned properties were 18% of the sales in November.  This is about even with the 3 month moving average.

¹ A 5-6 month supply indicates a balanced market.  Less=Seller’s More=Buyer’s
Statistics with prices exclude condominiums.
Statistics regarding number of units include all residential.

Based on information from TReND for the period 11/2010 through 11/2011
© 2012 Stephen Larrimore

-- 
Steve Larrimore  mailto:Steve@SteveLarrimore.com
Prudential Fox & Roach, Realtors
88 Lantana Drive, Hockessin, DE 19707
Direct 302-559-9013 Fax 302-999-0578 Office 302-999-9999

12/16/11 - Checkbook Update

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attached are the FY 2012 current spending projections for both the General and Sewer Funds. Also, attached are the General and Sewer Fund checkbooks for the period FY 2012 - FY 2017.

Projections as of December for the General Fund show revenues will be slightly ahead of expenditures for the year by $0.8 million. Revenue gains by sheriff office activity are offset by decrease activity in land use revenues and also interest earnings where returns are still low. On the expenditure side we continue to monitor rising gasoline prices and workers compensation expenses for possible budget action in the 4th quarter of the fiscal years.  Also, depending on severity of the upcoming winter both the utility budget and snow removal budgets may be exceeded.

Projections as of December for the Sewer Fund shows revenues to be slightly ahead of expenditures for the year by $0.1 million. The annual residential sewer bill will be mailed January 24,2012 and are due back by February 29, 2012. We are also in the process of calculating the Wilmington sewer treatment true up for last FY 2011 which may require budgetary action later in the fiscal year.

Both the General and Sewer Fund checkbooks for the period FY 2013 - FY 2017 show annual operating deficits as revenue growth does not keep pace with expenditure growth.

I will be presenting a summary of activity for the first six months of FY 2012  and projections for the fiscal year at the January 24th Council Finance meeting.  

 

9/26/11 - Checkbook Update

From: Milowicki, Edward

Reminder that County and School Property Tax bills are due this Friday September 30th.

Please find attached revenue and expenditure activity through August for both the general and sewer funds.

General Fund

At this time we are estimating to have budget savings in the salary line item at year end of approximately $1.0 million due to vacant positions. On the revenue we are estimating that the Sheriff Office will be $200,000  over their original budget estimate of $5.8 million and due to activity. In addition with the success with selling old County equipment items on govdeals we will be $100,000 over our estimate for sale of assets. We are still expecting to meet our RTT estimate of $16.0 million at year end. Just recently the Stratford Apartments on Naamans Road sold producing RTT fees to the County of $395,775.

Sewer Fund

At this time we are estimating to have budget savings in salary line item at year end of approximately $0.5 million due to vacant positions. All other items are anticipated to meet budget at this time.

 

9/11/11 - RTT Update -August FY 2012

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attached you will find the RTT activity for the first two months of the fiscal year. Through August we have collected $3.3 million which is 1.64% above last year for the first two months. We have had two large transactions so far . In July the Meadowwood Hospital sale on DuPont Highway generated RTT of $109,500 and in August the Pike Creek Nursing home sold generating RTT of $381,255.

Overall total transactions are up by 153 transactions compared to last year through August however there is still very little appreciation in sales price.

8/3/11 - FY 2011 RTT Update and New Castle County Home Sales Report June 2011

RTT collected and RTT lost to 1st time homebuyers.

Home Sales Report for New Castle County

JUNE 2011

  • Median Settled Price for June 2011: $213,500 down 5.1% vs. June 2010.
         Mean Settled Price: $237,660 down 4.2%.
  • Settled properties sold on average for 91% of original list price vs. 93% for June 2010.
  • Median listed price of homes Pending* in June 2011: $205,000.
    (*Pending means properties that are under agreement but not yet settled.)
  • Median listed price of all homes For Sale during June 2011: $217,000 5.8% higher than homes pending this month.
  • Homes Pending: 457: up 175 units or +62% vs. June 2010 (last June was really low, 282, due to buyers moving up purchasing to April in order to get the tax credit). 6/2008-427, 6/2009-492
  • Homes For Sale on 7/30/2011: 3,644; a 10.4  month Supply¹ down from 11 on 6/30/2011.
  • Homes Settled year to date through 6/30/2011: 1,995 down 408 units or -17% from 6/30/2010 (Again a tax credit artifact; settlement deadline was 6/30/10.  I project that we will finish the year about even with 2010).
  • New Listings in June 2011: 811 down 72 listings or -8.1% vs. June 2010.

 
¹ A 5-6 month supply indicates a balanced market.  Less=Seller’s More=Buyer’s
Statistics with prices exclude condominiums.
Statistics regarding number of units include all residential.
Based on information from TReND for the period 6/2010 through 7/2011

  • As I mention above, the 2010 tax credit concentrated the pendings in the first third of the year and the settlements in the first half.  So pendings were way down after April 2010 making this year look like it is coming back really strong; up 62%, Wow.  But it is just an artifact of how last year's sales were shifted around.  Similarly with Settleds, the first half of this year does not look good compared to 2010 but 2011 will likely appear to catch up since the rest of 2010 was depleted by settlements being forced into the first 6 months to qualify for the federal tax credit. 
    I did a projection of the rest of the years pendings based upon the first 6 months.  It looks to me like we will end up at about the same number as 2010 and about 10% below 2009.
  • You should be cautious about real estate statistics in the media.  I have read quite a number of stories that are very unclear.  They might say that sales or prices are up or down but do not say whether they mean against last month or the same month last year.  Some will really be talking about pending sales but appear to be talking about settled properties.  Read the stories critically as they are sometimes inadvertently misleading.
  • I used to rely on the House Price Index (HPI) that is produced by the regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for general appreciation stats.  It looked like better information to me than the Case Shiller index for a number of reasons.  I still have little use for the Case Shiller but no longer look at the HPI because most of Fannie and Freddie's business is refinances.  Only 12% of their mortgages in the first quarter were for purchases.  That is up quite a bit from the previous quarter but it means that most of their data is from appraisals and not from sales prices.

© 2011 Stephen Larrimore

-- 
Steve Larrimore  mailto:Steve@SteveLarrimore.com
Prudential Fox & Roach, Realtors
Direct 302-559-9013 Fax 302-999-0578 Office 302-999-9999

 

6/27/11 - FY 2011 May Update and Checkbook

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attached are the General and Sewer Fund FY 2011 projections with actual activity through 5/31 along with the Checkbook Projections through FY 2017.

The General Fund, after transfers, will have a projected shortfall of $4.4 million for the year. Transfers include the annual fleet and IT transfers along with $1.3 million of RTT transfer to the RTT reserve account which can be used for pay as you go capital and debt service. The General Fund, excluding the Rainy Day Reserve, will begin FY 2012 with projected reserves of $45.6 million. Projections from FY 2013 through FY 2017 have total budget shortfalls of $51.1 million.  Available cash reserves would be exhausted in FY 2017.  

The Sewer Fund is projected to have revenues over expenses by $1.4 million for FY 2011. The primary reason for the overage was the $1.0 million in delinquent sewer payment received from NVF as par t  of the court settlement. The Sewer Fund, excluding the Rainy Day Reserve, will begin FY 2012 with projected reserves of $15.1 million. Projections from FY 2012 through FY 2017 have total budget shortfalls of $27.8 million.  Available cash reserves would be exhausted in FY 2016 

6/7/11 - RTT through May

From: Milowicki, Edward

RTT collected through May is $15,318,441. Collections through May are 1.83% higher than they were for the same time period as last year. We are estimating to collect $16.5 million compared to the budget of $15. 2 million. Per Legislation, the additional $1.3 million over the original estimate will be reserved for future capital projects or debt service.

For transactions under $500,000 through May the Average Transaction Value is about the same (0.4% higher) when compared to the same period of time last year. Total transactions in this category are 2,182 (2010) vs. 2,188 (2011).

RTT dollars lost  this Fiscal year to NCC through May because of the First Time Home Buyer Exemption program is $1,613,689.32.

6/1/11 - FY 2011 Fiscal Projections and Update

From: Milowicki, Edward

Please find attached the latest FY 2011 Projections for the General and Sewer Fund with actual through April 30th.  I will be presenting an update to Council at the 6/14 Council Finance Meeting.

General Fund

The General Fund is projected to drawdown $5.2 million in reserves for the year. The available cash balance for July 1, 2011 is projected to be $44.8 million. The RTT is projected to exceed estimates ($15.2 million) by $1.3 million primarily due to large one time transactions. Per County Code any RTT revenues over original estimate are designated to be reserved for future capital projects or debt service.  Per the Board of Realtors the housing market is still slow and that houses still are selling at around 90% of their sales price. Revenues from the Sheriff Office continue to be strong as a result of the sheriff sale activity.  Revenue gains  from RTT and Sheriff sales are offset by real estate tax losses because of the tax abatements ($0.5 million) given to Valero and Fiskar as well as revenues lagging below estimates for building permits due to slow activity and  the low interest rate environment for our interest earnings.

Sewer Fund

The Sewer Fund is projected to end the year with a $0.2 million gain. The reasons for the gain was the NVF delinquent payment as well as the number of sewer fund vacant positions. The Sewer Fund available cash balance for July 1, 2011 is projected to be $13.9 million exclusive of the Rainy Day Reserve.

 

4/28/11 - Checkbook/Projection Update for General and Sewer Fund

From: Milowicki, Edward

Please find attached the April checkbooks for the General and Sewer funds along with current year projections for the General and Sewer Fund.

General Fund

The General Fund is projected to need $5.8 million in reserves for the year of which $3.0 million is for legislation approved during the current fiscal year. Those items were; $2.4 million for workers compensation costs, $0.5 million for the special council president election and $0.1 for PAL utilities.

Revenues from RTT are estimated to be $16.0 million compared to budget estimate of $15.2 million. Activity in the Sheriff Office continues strong and expected to generate fees of $5.7 million compared to budget estimate of $4.2 million. Revenues from building permits and interest earning continue to be below budget estimates.

Available Cash Balances (exclusive of the Rainy Day fund) estimated to be available at 7/1/2011 are $43.4 million.

NOTE:  Ordinance 11-051 was introduced  at the 4/26 Council Meeting for additional funding of  $410,000 to the Special Services budget for gasoline purchases due to increase in gasoline prices.

Sewer Fund 

The Sewer Fund is projected to end the year without use of reserves. Revenues from sewer billings are projected to be $1.2 million below original budget estimate. This is primarily due to the residential billing being less then anticipated and reduced commercial usage offset by increased industrial usage.

Available Cash Balances (exclusive of the Rainy Day fund) estimated to be available at 7/1/2011 are $13.7 million.

NOTE: The next meeting of the New Castle County Financial Advisory (NCCFAC) will be Tuesday , May 3rd at 3:00 at the Government Center.

4/5/11 - New Castle County Home Sales Report February 2011

From: Milowicki, Edward

Please find below the NCC Monthly Home Sales Report that I receive for your information. I also have attached the RTT activity for New Castle County through March. YTD revenues are 3% below last year for the same time period. We are estimating to get $16.0 million for this fiscal year compared to original budget estimate of $15.2. For home sales under $500,000 we are about even in the number of transactions and 1.7% above the average sale price compared to the same time period as last year.

From: Steve Larrimore [mailto:Steve@SteveLarrimore.com]
Sent: Monday, April 04, 2011 7:46 PM
To: Stephen Larrimore
Subject: New Castle County Home Sales Report February 2011

  • The big price drop for February (median -9.3% mean -16.3%) may mean something or it may just turn out to be a quirk.  The mean settled price of what has been reported so far for March compared to last March shows a drop of less than 5%.  January was up 3% and the mean sale price year to date is down less than 5%.   Recent months mostly range from plus 5% to minus 5%.  On the other hand, February's percentage of 2, 3 and 4 bedroom homes sold was similar to last February, so it does not appear that it is just due to the mixture of homes selling.  The really high end though was cut in half from last February: from 10 homes to only 5.  This January had a few more than last January: 14 vs. 11.  Just bad weather?  Time will tell.
  • Brandywine Hundred is the strongest for sellers with a 7.3 month supply of homes, below the canal favors the buyers most with a 13.8 month supply.  The county as a whole has a 9.3 month supply.  For comparison, Chester County is at 9.9, Kent 14.3. 
  • Agents and lenders are reporting that it seems as if more buyers are getting into the market, we'll see if that pans out.  We won't be able to tell much comparing pending sales for March and April to last year because those months were warped by the home-buyer tax credit frenzy.
  • Wilmington's continuing troubles: 37 homes settled, 24 or 65% for less than $50,000!  28 were cash sales.  Those do not sound like owner occupants to me.  Last February there were 35 sales but only 14 were under $50,000 and just 17 were cash. The median price for the homes currently for sale is $109,900.

Home Sales Report for New Castle County

FEBRUARY 2011
Median Settled Price for February 2011: $194,900 down 9.3% vs. February 2010.
     Mean Settled Price: $208,340 down 16.3%.
Settled properties sold on average for 87% of listed price vs. 91% for February 2010.
Median listed price of homes Pending* in February 2011: $189,900.
(*Pending means properties that are under agreement but not yet settled.)
Median listed price of all homes For Sale during February 2011: $215,000 13% higher than homes pending this month.
Homes Pending: 365: up 39 units or +12% vs. February 2010.
Homes For Sale on 3/31/2011: 3,416; an 9.4 month Supply¹ up from 9.3 on 2/28/2011.
Homes Settled year to date through 2/28/2011: 455 down 22 units or -4.6% from 2/28/2010.
New Listings in February 2011: 641 down 14 listings or -2.1% vs. February 2010.
 
¹ A 5-6 month supply indicates a balanced market.  Less=Seller’s More=Buyer’s
Statistics with prices exclude condominiums.
Statistics regarding number of units include all residential.
 
Based on information from TReND for the period 2/2010 through 2/2011
© 2011 Stephen Larrimore

 

4/3/11 - Checkbook Update and Projections

From: Milowicki, Edward

Please find attached the March checkbooks for the General and Sewer funds along with current year projections for the General and Sewer Fund.

General Fund

The General Fund is projected to use $5.7 million in reserves for the year of which $3.0 million is for legislation passed during the current fiscal year. Those items were $2.4 million for workers compensation costs, $0.5 million for the special council president election and $0.1 for PAL utilities.

Revenues from RTT are estimated to be $16.0 million compared to budget estimate of $15.2 million. Activity in the Sheriff Office continues strong and expected to generate fees of $5.7 million compared to budget estimate of $15.2 million. Revenues from building permits and interest earning continue to be below budget estimates.

NOTEDue to rising gasoline prices additional funding of at least $300,000 may be needed for the remainder of the fiscal year. Legislation will be brought forward to Council in May. We will continue to monitor

Sewer Fund 

The Sewer Fund is projected to use $0.5 million in reserves for the year. Revenues from sewer billings are projected to be $1.3 million below original budget estimate. This is primarily due to the residential billing being less then anticipated and reduced commercial usage. The majority of this shortfall will be offset by expenditure savings in the salary and contractual line items.

The next meeting of the New Castle County Financial Advisory (NCCFAC) will be Tuesday , May 3rd.

3/22/11 - County Financial Overview Presentation

New Castle County Fiscal Year 2012 Financial Overview

2/27/11 - Checkbook Update

From: Milowicki, Edward

Please find attached updated Fiscal Projections for FY 2011 and also updated checkbook projections for the General and Sewer Fund.

GENERAL FUND

The General Fund is projected to end the current fiscal year with a shortfall of $5.7 million. With the use of reserves to cover the shortfall the general fund will have reserves of $44.3 million at 6/30/2011.

The Checkbook shows a budget shortfall for FY 2012 of $11.0 million. FY 2012 assumes the return of the employee rollback. Based on current revenue streams and projected expenditures the general fund will exhaust reserves at the end of FY 2014.  

SEWER FUND

The Sewer Fund is projected to end the current fiscal year with a shortfall of $0.5 million. With the use of reserves to cover the shortfall the sewer fund will have reserves of $0.5 million at 6/30/2011.

The Checkbook shows a budget shortfall for FY 2012 of $4.2 million. FY 2012 assumes the return of the employee rollback. Based on current revenue streams and projected expenditures the sewer fund will exhaust reserves at the end of FY 2013.

2/15/11 - NCCFAC Minutes

From: Ewbank, Joanna

Attached are the minutes from the NCCFAC meeting on February 15, 2011.  The next meeting will be held at 3:00 p.m. on April 19, 2011 in the Large Executive Conference Room at the New Castle County Government Center.  Thank you.

2/12/11 - RTT Update

From: Milowicki, Edward

Through January we have collected $10,246,229 compared to $10,234,265 for the same time period as last year. Our latest estimate for RTT is $15.7 million compared to original budget estimate of $15,2 million. The increase is primarily due to large one time transactions during first six months of the fiscal year.

The total number of sales transaction that were under $500,000 are comparable to the same time period as last year 1,449 (2010) vs. 1,425 (2011) for this fiscal year. Also, the average sale price rose 1.3%. from $242,455 to $245,545.

Also attached is the history of RTT that NCC has foregone due to the First Time Home Buyer exemption.  For this Fiscal Year we have seen first time home buyer transactions drop by 54% (606 FY 2011 vs 1,312 FY 2010) due to the end of the Federal first time home buyer program.

1/20/11 - Checkbook Update and FY 2011 Projections

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attached is the latest 2011 financial projections and checkbooks for both the General and Sewer funds that I will be presenting to Council at the 1/25 Council Finance Meeting.

The General Fund is estimated to end the year with a $4.9 million shortfall. Revenues from RTT are estimated to be $15.7 million which is $500,000 over the original budget estimate due to one time large transactions. Sheriff Office activity due to foreclosures will be $1.0 million over the budget estimate of $4.2 million. Revenue shortfalls are in Building Permits, Interest  Earnings and Property Tax (PBF abatement). General Fund reserves are projected to be exhausted at the end of FY 2014.

The Sewer Fund is estimated to end the year with a $0.6 million shortfall. The Residential Sewer Billed will be mailed out on 1/24 and are due 2/28. The average residential sewer bill is $272.15. Legislation will be required in the last quarter of this fiscal year for the FY 2010 sewer treatment retro payment in the amount of $0.9 million to the City of Wilmington. Sewer Fund reserves are estimated to be exhausted at the end of FY 2013.

1/9/11 - RTT update through December

From: Milowicki, Edward

For the month of December we collected $2,648,739.77. There were 6 large transactions in December that generated $1,134,195 in RTT. They are as follow:

Woodacre Apts             $370,173
Longview Apts               $105,785
Naamans Village Apts   $262,500
United Electric              $  80,737
Woodlea Apts               $  90,000
Radisson(Old Airport Rd) $225,000

Through December the County has foregone $871,497 of RTT from the first time home buyer exemption in FY 2011 . See attached schedule.

For transactions under $500,000 we have seen a 3.8% drop in the number of transactions but the value(sale price) is the same as last year which is good news. In the past few months the value was dropping.  See attached schedule.  

As a result of some of the large transactions we have seen so far this year we are now projecting RTT to generate $15.7 million compared to the original budget estimate of $15.2 million.

 

12/20/10 - November RTT

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attached you will find RTT activity through November.

Through November we have collected $6,700,584 compared to $7,648,988 for the same time period last fiscal year. We are still anticipating to reach our original budget estimate of $15,200,000.

For real estate transactions valued under $500,000 we have recorded 1,039 compared to 1,080 last year which is a 3.8% decrease. The average value of these transactions are $242,457 compared to $243,946 or a 0.6% drop.  Prices seem to have stabilized but still no growth in home prices. 

We had one large transaction in November. The Pathmark Grocery Store on Lancaster Pike sold and generated RTT of $107,480 to NCC.

We will continue to monitor daily.

12/19/10 - Checkbooks-General and Sewer Fund

From: Milowicki, Edward

Please find attached the latest General and Sewer funds checkbook presentations.

Based on the attached checkbook scenarios the General Fund will exhaust reserves (excludes rainy day) during FY 2014 and the Sewer Fund will exhaust reserves (excludes rainy day) during FY 2014 .  

Also, attached is the current year (2011) general and sewer fund budget activity report. Estimates indicate the General Fund will end the year with a $6.0  million  loss or use of reserves and the Sewer Fund will have a loss of $0.9 million or use of reserves.    

General Fund revenue activity through November indicate that Real Estate Taxes and Transfer tax will meet budget.  Sheriff Office activity indicate that revenues will exceed original budget estimates by $1.0 million due to the continues large number of Sheriff sales. Revenues from interest earnings are estimated to be $0.5 million below budget due to continued low rates of return. Major expenditure changes for the year so far are $950,000 additional for workers compensation expenditures and $500,000 for special elections.

Sewer Fund revenues indicate that revenues from quarterly industrial billings continue to rise. We are currently receiving the water data from the water companies for the annual residential billing. The residential bills will be mailed out on 1/24 and are due at the end of February.   Revenues from interest earnings are estimated to be $0.2 million below budget due to continued low rates of return.

12/1/10 - NCCFAC Minutes -- November 16, 2010

From: Ewbank, Joanna

Attached are the minutes from the NCCFAC meeting on November 16, 2010.  The next meeting will be held at 3:00 p.m. on February 15, 2011 in the Large Executive Conference Room at the New Castle County Government Center.  Thank you.

11/1/10 - FY 2011 RTT through October

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attached you will find FY 2011 RTT activity schedules through October.

Through October we have collected $5.5 million compared to $6.3 for the same time period as last year. This represents a drop of 12.78% for the same time period.

Total overall RTT transactions for the year are 28% below last year (1,768 vs 1,269).  The drop is primarily due to the decrease in first time home buyer transactions (809 vs 345).

The good news is that we are starting to see the average value of transactions under $500,000 remain about the same compared to last fiscal year.  According, to the latest Realtors Report some areas of New Castle County are starting to even see some appreciation in home value.  

We will continue to monitor and are projecting to meet the original RTT estimate of $15.2 million.

10/24/10 - FY 2011 Fiscal Update and Checkbook

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attached are updated FY 2011 September projections with actual activity through September and Checkbook projections through FY 2015.  I would be glad to answer any follow up questions at this Tuesday's (10/26) Council Finance meeting. 

General Fund

County and School tax bills were due 9/30. Delinquent County and School tax bills were mailed out last week and are due at the end of October. Projections indicate that  tax estimates will meet budget. 

Sheriff Office activity continues to be strong. Current projections for Sheriff Office indicate revenues of $4.6 million which is $0.5 million over original estimate of $4.1 million. The delay of foreclosures by Bank of America and PNC bank may slow down activity over the next few months.

We are still estimating to meet our RTT projection of $15.2 but caution that residential activity still is slow. Large RTT transaction include Fiskar, Exxon Gas station (13 total stations) mad Mike's Harley Davidson.

Interest Earnings are projected to be below budget as rates still continue to remain at all time lows. Projections indicate earnings to be $0.4 million below original estimate.

Sewer Fund

Current Year sewer service charges for Industrial and Commercial usage for the last couple of quarters continue to hold steady and in a some cases have risen which is good news in this area.

Interest Earnings are projected to be below budget as rates still continue to remain at all time lows. Projections indicate earnings to be $0.2 million below original estimate.

Retroactive sewer payment to the City of Wilmington of $1.5 million for FY 2010 was made in the first quarter. The reconciliation of the FY 2010 Wilmington charges will be made in the second of the fiscal year. Budgetary action may be required.

 

10/11/2010 - FY 2011 RTT Activity through September

From: Milowicki, Edward

Please find attached FY 2011 RTT activity through September.

Through September we have collected $4,540,644 which is 2.85% below last year for the same time period.

The year to date number of transactions are 351 below last year. The majority of the decrease is due to the drop in first time home buyer transactions which are 321 below last year.

Major transactions in the first quarter include:

GM Plant - Boxwood Rd    $270,000
Exxon Gas Station (13)     $153,563
Mike's Harley-New Castle  $120,000

Total Budget Estimate for the year is $15,155,000.

9/21/2010 - NCCFAC Minutes

To: Ewbank, Joanna

Attached are the minutes from the NCCFAC meeting on September 21, 2010.  The next meeting will be held at 3:00 p.m. on November 16, 2010 in the Large Executive Conference Room at the New Castle County Government Center.  Thank you.

9/19/10 - FY2011 Update and Checkbook

From: Milowicki, Edward

Please find attached fiscal activity through August FY 2011 along with updated Checkbook presentation.

General Fund Highlights
For FY 2011 high activity continues in the Sheriff Office which may push revenue estimates for the Sheriff Office to be $500,000 over the original budget estimate ($4.1 million). The number of September sheriff's sales scheduled was 130+.  Originally, there were 315 properties slated for sale.  This trend is not encouraging.

Based on current interest earning trends we are projecting revenue from interest earnings to be $300,000 under original budget estimate of $3.8 million.

County Bond sale will be on 9/20. Debt service may be adjusted based on sale.   

Sewer Fund Highlights

Retroactive FY 2010 sewer payments of $1.5 payment was made to the City of Wilmington in FY 2011. Additional funding will be required to cover this payment.  

Based on current interest earning trends we are projecting revenue from interest earnings to be $200,000 under original budget estimate of $1.9 million.

County Bond sale will be on 9/20. Debt service may be adjusted based on sale.  

 

8/10/2010 - July FY 2011-RTT Activity

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attached you fill find the RTT activity for July FY 2011. Total RTT for July-FY 2011 was $1,606,771 compared to $1,626,924 for July-FY 2010. 

RTT for July-FY 2011 included $270,000 from the GM-Fiskar sale. Total July RTT transactions dropped by 26.95% compared to June. The First Time Home buyer transactions for July where 49.33 % below June primarily due to the the home buyer credit ending June 30th.

We will continue to monitor closely as the fiscal year progresses.

7/23/2010 - Checkbook Presentation for 7/27 Council Finance Meeting

From: Milowicki, Edward

Please find attached the Revenue and Expenditure activity for FY 2010 for both the General and Sewer Fund. Also attached is the General and Sewer fund checkbooks.

I will review both these schedules along with reviewing revenue activity by category at the 7/27 Council Finance meeting.

7/9/2010 - RTT FY2010

From: Milowicki, Edward

Please find attached FY 2010 RTT for the year along with a detailed break down below. Noteworthy is that for transactions under $500,000 we saw an increase of 4.4% in the number of transactions compared to last fiscal year however the $$$  value of these transactions dropped 3.2%  


RTT Summary FY2010 vs FY2009

FY2010

FY2009

Difference

Overall transactions

4,898

4,273

625

14.63%

Exemptions- half RTT

2,169

1,630

539

33.07%

Transactions under $500,000 full RTT

2,470

2,366

104

4.40%

Transactions between $500-$1M full RTT

208

221

-13

-5.88%

Total transactions under $1M full RTT

2,678

2,587

91

3.52%

Transactions over $1M full RTT

51

56

-5

-8.93%

Transactions between $1M-$5M full RTT

42

43

-1

-2.33%

Transactions over $5M full RTT

9

13

-4

-30.77%

RTT total

 $  17,929,644.97

 $16,838,687.49

 $1,090,957.48

6.48%

6/20/2010 - Updated Checkbook and Projections

From: Milowicki, Edward

FY 2010 - view pdf

General Fund is projected to end the year with revenues estimates matching our projected expenditures. The original budget estimate was to use $7.0 million of reserves to balance the budget. We are projected to use 98% of expenditure budget resulting in savings along with revenues derived from five large RTT transactions (including Valero), one time large subdivision activity (Barley Mill) , commercial building permits (DuPont and Christiana Mall) along with continued activity in Sheriff sales.

Sewer Fund is projected to use $0.9 million in reserves. We continue to see decrease sewer usage by industrials, apartments and contract users. Noteworthy was that we received from the federal government $1.0 million reimbursement associated with prior years cost associated with Landfill clean up.

CHECKBOOK - view pdf

GENERAL FUND: FY 2011 budget was approved using $7.0 million in reserves. Based on all salary rollbacks returning in FY 2012 along with expenditure growth we are projecting to run out of reserves during FY 2014.  For the period FY 2011 to FY 2015 there is a $85.2 million shortfall projected for that period.

SEWER FUND: FY 2011 budget was approved with a balance budget. Based on all salary rollbacks returning in FY 2012 along with expenditure growth we we projecting to run out of reserves sometime in FY 2013. For the period FY 2012 to FY 2015 there is a $30.4 million shortfall projected for that period.  

6/4/2010 - RTT Update - May 2010

From: Milowicki, Edward

Here is an update on RTT collections through May. Attached is a monthly collection schedule and below is a comparison by category. Updated projections show that we will receive $17.3 million in RTT compared to  the original budget estimate of $14.9 million. The variance is due to activity from first time home buyers federal incentive program (NCC receives the seller RTT) , federal home buyer credit and also six large transactions this year that generated extraordinary RTT.

However, the average value (sales price) of each transaction under $500,000 is 4.3% below last year for the same time period so we continue not to see appreciation in home values.


RTT Summary FY2010 through May

                 
                     

               

          

Overall transactions

4,282

3,852

430

11.16%

Exemptions- half RTT

1,871

1,453

418

28.77%

Transactions under $500,000 full RTT

2,182

2,148

34

1.58%

Transactions between $500-$1M full RTT

188

200

-12

-6.00%

Transactions over $1M full RTT

41

51

-10

-19.61%

Transactions between $1M-$5M full RTT

35

39

-4

-10.26%

Transactions over $5M full RTT

6

13

-7

-53.85%

RTT total through May

 $  15,042,756.40

 $15,424,732.52

 $  (381,976.12)

-2.48%

 

5/27/2010 - Updated FY 2010 Projections and Checkbook

From: Milowicki, Edward

Please find attached updated FY 2010 projections with actual activity through 4/30 along with the checkbooks for the general and sewer fund.

5/5/2010 - RTT Activity Through April

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attached is RTT Activity Though April.  Sale price for  homes under $500,000 are 4.8% below last year. We are projecting $16.4 million compared to original estimate of $14.9 million at year end due to activity of first time buyers and several large transactions.

RTT Transaction Summary FY2010 through April

FY2010

FY2009

Difference

Overall transactions

3,811

3,477

334

9.61%

Exemptions- half RTT

1,666

1,308

358

27.37%

Transactions under $500,000 full RTT

1,941

1,949

-8

-0.41%

Transactions between $500-$1M full RTT

169

175

-6

-3.43%

Total transactions under $1M full RTT

2,110

2,124

-14

-0.66%

Transactions over $1M full RTT

35

45

-10

-22.22%

Transactions between $1M-$5M full RTT

29

33

-4

-12.12%

Transactions over $5M full RTT

6

12

-6

-50.00%

 

5/4/2010 - Checkbook Update and Projections

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attached you will find updated projections for FY 2010 along with general and sewer fund checkbooks. At the 4/20 NCCFAC meeting the committee approved the FY 2010 Revenue and Expenditure estimates along with FY 2011 Revenue Estimates that were certified by the County Executive and submitted to County Council.

4/8/2010 - NCCFAC Meeting -- April 20

From: Ewbank, Joanna

The New Castle County Financial Advisory Council meeting will be held on April 20, 2010 at 3:30 p.m. in the Large Executive Conference Room at the New Castle County Government Center.  NCCFAC members, please reply to this email to confirm your attendance.  

Attached, please find the minutes from the meeting on February 16, 2010, the agenda for the upcoming meeting and the FY2011 Revenue Summary.

 

4/6/2010 - RTT Activity Through March

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attached you will find schedules of RTT activity through March.

For the month of March we collected $1,386,235 in RTT. The NUCAR Dealership on DuPont Highway was sold generating $318,000 in RTT fees for March. For the fiscal year we have collected $12,372,481 which is 5.34% below last year to date.

For transactions under $500,000 for the fiscal year we have seen 1,768 transactions compared to 1,786 for the same time period which is a 1% drop in the number of transactions. However, the average value of those transactions have dropped $14,812 or 5.9%.

We continue to estimate $15.9 million for this fiscal year compared to the original budget estimate of $14.9 million.

For FY 2009 we collected $16.8 million.

3/17/2010 - Updated General and Sewer Fund Checkbooks

From: Milowicki, Edward

Please find attached the latest checkbook & projections for both the general and sewer fund for your review. I will review at the 3/23 Council Finance meeting.

3/2/2010 - February RTT Update

From: Milowicki, Edward

Summary:

Feb. 2010 is officially the worst month since we have been keeping track of RTT, $751,980.53

Feb 2010 down 3.09% ($23,951.50) from Feb 2009, not too bad considering the record snowfall.

YTD FY2010 down 8.59% ($1,031,972.38) from FY2009 through Feb.

Good news, we are at 73.54% ($10,986,247.65) of this year's goal ($14,940,000.00) with 4 months to go.


Also, the article below is in the News Journal Business section today concerning the future of home sales activity.

Repeat buyer credit not spurring home sales
Unemployment, low house values reduce appeal of $6,500 incentive
By ADRIAN SAINZ • Associated Press • March 2, 2010

It sounded like a great idea three months ago: Hand homeowners a $6,500 tax credit to find a new place to live, giving a thrust of energy to the housing market's recovery.

So far, people are staying put.

In November, the federal government, seeking to build on momentum from a first-time buyer credit, added a new credit of up to $6,500 for current homeowners, hoping it would transform them into "move-up" house-hunters this winter and spring.

But real estate agents around the country say the credit is doing little to elevate sales. Reasons vary.

The unemployment rate is still near 10 percent and home prices, while stabilizing, are still a third below their 2006 peak. Droves of people who want to sell are stuck because their home is worth less than they paid for it.

"No one is saying, 'I need to buy something before it expires,' " said Tim Surratt, an agent with Greenwood King Properties in Houston.

Sales of new and previously occupied homes dropped in January, and the Mortgage Bankers Association's index of loan applications recently hit a 12 1/2-year low.

Also, the percentage of current homeowners looking to buy was nearly flat from January to February, according to a poll of 1,500 real estate agents by Campbell Communications and Inside Mortgage Finance.

"You've got a really big problem that requires big guns, and the tax credit is just not big enough," said Roberton Williams, senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center in Washington.

Agents believe the credit's true test will come in the spring, but concerns about high unemployment could keep buyers on the fence.

"If you don't have a job, you're not going to be able to buy a new house," said Deborah Farmer, owner of StarLight Realty in Tampa, Fla.

Another problem is that homeowners, in many cases, will need to sell their current home to afford a new one and claim the credit on tax returns. That's a major issue for borrowers who owe more than their home is worth. Nearly one in three homeowners with a mortgage is currently in that situation, according to Moody's Economy.com.

Also, $6,500 may not mean much to a buyer with enough equity to sell a property and afford another home. The savings will hardly dent down payments or moving costs. Most sellers employ real estate agents who typically receive 6 percent of the sales price.

Economists argue that a tax credit is rarely the sole motivation for a home purchase. Many believe tax credits just accelerate sales that would have happened anyway, leading to a drop-off once that demand is exhausted.

So far, the credit "is hardly registering on the economic Richter scale," said Patrick Newport, an economist with IHS Global Insight.

Real estate agents hope the tax credit will attract more buyers as it approaches its April deadline. Both tax breaks are expected to create an estimated 600,000 additional home sales this year, the Realtors group said. The group hasn't broken down an estimate for first-time buyers and existing homeowners.

To qualify for the $6,500 credit, buyers must have owned and lived in the same home for five consecutive years out of the past eight. They must sign a contract by April 30 and close before June 30. Lawmakers can extend both tax credits, but it's not clear if they will.

The home's purchase price can't exceed $800,000, and it must be used as a main residence. The income limit for single taxpayers is $125,000; for a married couple, it's $225,000

 

2/24/20 - NCCFAC Minutes -- February 16, 2010

From: Ewbank, Joanna

Attached are the minutes from the NCCFAC meeting on February 16, 2010.  The next meeting will be held at 3:30 p.m. on April 20, 2010 in the Large Executive Conference Room at the New Castle County Government Center.  Thank you.

2/13/2010 - Checkbook Update and 2010 Activity Projections

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attach is updated FY 2010 activity projections through January 2010 actuals along with an updated checkbooks .  I would be glad to answer any follow up questions at the 2/16 Council Finance meeting. 

FY 2010

General Fund Projected Shortfall of $2.8 million for the fiscal year.   
Sewer Fund Projected Shortfall of $1.9 million for the fiscal year.

FY 2011-FY 2015

General Fund projected shortfall of $11.8 million for FY 2011. Reserves will be exhausted during FY 2013 without revenue increases or budget reductions.

Sewer Fund  projected shortfall of $3.2 million for FY 2011.  Reserves will be exhausted during FY 2012 without revenue increases or budget reductions.

2/4/2010 - RTT Activity Update

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attached you will find RTT activity through January.

RTT for the month of January was $796,654. For the year we are 8.97% below last year for the same time period. We have collected $10.2 million for the first seven months of the fiscal year compared to $11.2 for the same time period last year. Projections indicate RTT to be $15.9 million which is $1.0 over original budget estimate.

Overall transactions processed for the month of January was 227 transactions which is the lowest number of transactions over the last five months. We saw a drop in all categories in January. January and February are normally slow months however January 2010 revenue from RTT was 14.9% below last January.

We will continue to monitor the RTT activity closely.

1/10/10 - Checkbook and FY 2010 Activity Update

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attached is the summary of FY 2010 General and Sewer Fund activity through 12/31 as well as an updated checkbook through FY 2015.

General Fund

As of 12/31 the FY 2010 estimated year end budget shortfall is $3.1 million compared to original budget shortfall of $6.9 million. The change is primarily due to projected budget savings of $2.7 million primarily due to savings from vacant positions and revenues over original estimates due to rtt, wills and sheriff office activity.

The checkbook for FY 2011 budget projects a budget shortfall of $13.0 million. A total shortfall of $92.4 million is projected for the period FY 2011 through FY 2015. Budget shortfalls for that period will range from $13.0 million to $21.3 million annually with operating reserves exhausted during FY 2013.

Revenue estimates assumes all current revenue sources and fees remain the same. 

Sewer Fund

As of 12/31 the FY 2010 estimated year end budget shortfall is $1.9 million. Revenues from sewer service are estimated to be $2.2 million below our original budget estimate. This is due to decrease usage by industrials, contract users and residential users.

The checkbook for FY 2011 budget projects a $4.7 million budget shortfall. A total shortfall of $54.0 million is projected for the period FY 2011 through FY 2015. Budget shortfalls for that period will range from $4.7 million to $14.5 million annually with operating reserves exhausted in FY 2012.

Revenue estimates assumes all current revenue sources and fees remain the same.  

I would be glad to discuss both these schedules with you further.

1/9/10 - RTT Activity Update

From: Milowicki, Edward

Through December we have collected $9.4 million which  is 8.43% below last year for the same time period. We are estimating to receive $15.9 million compared to our original budget estimate of $14,9 million. The $1.0 million over budget estimate can be attributed to the Federal first time home buyer incentive program and 4 large transactions (Greenville Overlook, Chestnut Crossing Apts, 2 separate transactions for units of the Helen Graham Cancer Center).   

For transaction under $500,000(excludes 1st time home buyers) the number of transactions are down 4.6% and the value of each transaction on average is down to 5%.

According to the latest real estate report I receive from the Board of Realtors sellers are receiving 93% of their asking price.

Usually the next 3 months are slow activity however the Federal exemption has been extended to April 1 which may generate more sales.

We will continue to monitor daily as we have done in the past and provide updates.

12/6/09 - RTT Activity through November

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attached are schedules showing RTT activity through November. Through November we have collected $7,648,988 in RTT revenues which is 11.33% below last YTD. For transactions under $500,000 we are 6.3% below last year and 3.6% below the average $$ value of transactions.

November had the most RTT transaction (490) for this current fiscal year. This was due to the large number of first time home buyer transactions (258) as a result of the federal home buyer program.  Last November has 100 first time home buyer transactions.  First time home buyers represent 47% of all transaction this fiscal year.

We are estimating RTT to earn $15.4 million this fiscal year compared to $16.8 million last fiscal year.

11/9/09 - NCCFAC Meeting -- November 17

From: Ewbank, Joanna

The New Castle County Financial Advisory Council meeting will be held on November 17 at 3:30 p.m. in the Large Executive Conference Room at the New Castle County Government Center.  NCCFAC members, please reply to this email to confirm your attendance.

Attached, please find the minutes from the September 15 meeting and the agenda for the upcoming meeting.

11/5/09 - RTT Update

From: Milowicki, Edward

FYI. The Senate voted yesterday by a 98-0 margin to extend the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit end date while also expanding the credit to existing homeowners who want to move to another residence . The extension is to April 30, 2010. 

NCC RTT for the month of October was $1,795,710 which was 10.56% higher then last October. We have seen three straight months of increased RTT fees collected. Since July we have had 12 transactions in the $1.0 to $5.0 range and 4 transactions over $5.0 million.    

However, YTD fees are 12.9% below last year for the period July through October and the number of transactions for under $500,000 transactions are down 13%.   Also, we continue to see decline in the value of each transaction in the under $500,000 group.

We have revised the RTT estimate for the year to reach $15.4 million vs. our budget estimate of $14.9 million.

I would be glad to answer any follow up questions.

10/17/09 - Updated Checkbooks and September Activity

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attached are schedules showing activity through September and also updated Checkbooks.

The General Fund budget is projected to end FY 2010 with a deficit of $4.4 million. Currently there are no issues with the general fund budget that would require additional funding. Transfer tax is projected to be at $15.4 million which is $0.5 million over the budget estimate of $14.9 million. First quarter rtt activity included increased first time home buyer activity and three real estate transactions valued over $5.0 million. Activity in building permits continues to be slow. General Fund Checkbook continues to show annual operating shortfalls with reserves being exhausted during FY 2013. 

The Sewer Fund budget is projected to end FY 2010 with a deficit of $1.3 million. The annual residential sewer bill will be mailed out in January/February.  The FY 2010 Sewer Fund expenditure activity will include retroactive payments to the City of Wilmington for sewer treatment and the settlement payment to DNREC for Fox Point settlement. Sewer Fund continues with operating shortfalls with reserves being exhausted during FY 2012.

10/7/09 - NCCFAC Minutes -- September 15, 2009

From: Ewbank, Joanna

Attached are the minutes and all handouts from the NCCFAC meeting on September 15, 2009.  The next meeting will be held at 3:30 p.m. on November 17, 2009 in the New Castle County Government Center in the Large Executive Conference Room.  Thank you.

10/6/09 - September RTT

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attached are updated RTT schedules through September. September collections were $1,690,041 which was 13.17% above last September collections of $1,493,391.   Year to date collections through September of $4,540,644 are 19.71% below last September year to date of $5,655,208.  Current Year estimate is $14.9 million. 

September saw an increase in overall transactions from 396 in August to 459 transactions for the month. First Time homebuyer transactions represent 45% of September activity.

Noteworthy was that we had three over $5.0 million real estate transactions .  They generated $263,477 in RTT for the month.

We continue to monitor RTT transactions on a daily basis and will update you in November on the activity for October.

9/16/2009 - FY 2010 Activity and August Checkbook

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attached is revenue and expenditure activity through August and the latest updated General and Sewer Funds checkbook.

General Fund salaries are currently projected to  be $1.0 million under budget due primarily to vacancies. On the revenue side Building Permits continue to suffer and may result in being $0.4 million under budget. However, the Register of Wills recorded a large estate that generated $0.4 million in one time revenues.  The RTT estimate of $14.9 million is not estimated to change at this time . The majority of RTT activity is by first time homebuyers. Year  End General Fund shortfall is currently projected to be between $5.0 to 7.0 million.

Sewer Fund Salaries are projected to be $0.3 under budget due primarily to vacancies. Not included in the FY 2010 budget was the retroactive payment to the City of Wilmington  for wastewater treatment which is estimated to be in the $2.0 million  range  and  in addition a $0.5 million payout for the Fox Point Settlement  with DNREC  will be paid out during FY 2010.    Overall, the Sewer Fund shortfall is estimated to be between $ 2.0 to $3.0 million.

I would be glad to answer any follow up questions

 

9/15/2009 - RTT Update for FY 2010

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attached you will find RTT activity through August. After four straight months (April-July) of increased transactions the month of August showed a decline. Both the number of overall transactions and the number of first time home buyer transactions showed a decline. We continue to see steady activity in the $1 million to $5 million range which represents commercial activity.

Compared to last year we are 31% below last year but that was prior to downturn in the real estate market. With only two months of activity and the uncertainty in the economy it is too early to tell if we will make our estimate of $14.9 million.

I will continue to provide you with monthly updates.

9/1/2009 - NCCFAC Meeting -- September 15

The New Castle County Financial Advisory Council meeting will be held on September 15 at 3:30 p.m. in the Large Executive Conference Room at the New Castle County Government Center.  NCCFAC members, please reply to this email to confirm your attendance.

Attached, please find the minutes from the April 21 meeting and the agenda for the upcoming meeting.

8/5/2009 - RTT Activity April- July 2009

From: Milowicki, Edward

The attached RTT schedule shows a comparison of June 2009 activity to June 2008 activity and July 2009 activity to July 2008 activity by categories. Both months show decreased activity compared to the same months as last fiscal year.

Also, shown is the activity for the last four months of April through July  of this year .  Noteworthy,  is that we have stabilized as far as decreased activity and are showing  some  increased activity over the last four months. As was noted in the media there is a lot of activity in the first time homebuyer arena but remember that NCC exempts the first time home buyer from paying an RTT. The seller does pay his share.   

Would be glad to answer any follow up questions.

8/3/2009 - FY 2009 General and Sewer Fund Year End Results

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attached are the FY 2009 unaudited year end results of operations for both the General and Sewer Fund.
  I will review with Council Members at the 8/25 Finance Meeting along with RTT for July.

Attachment 1 - Projections
Attachment 2 - Checkbooks

GENERAL FUND

-The General Fund Expenditures achieved budget savings of $10.2 million or 6% budget savings. Major savings are as follows:

Salaries- Total Savings of $4.0 million. Full Time savings of $4.9 million, Overtime savings of $0.4 million and Part Time savings of $0.3  for a total salary savings of $5.6 million.  These savings were partially offset by $1.6 million in Severance payouts.  Total of 96% of salary budget was expended. 

Communications/Utilities- Savings of $0.6 million attributable to phones, electric and heating oil.

Materials- Savings of $1.0 million from library book  purchases ($0.4) and also office supplies,construction supplies and gasoline.

Contractual Services-Savings of $2.4 million from reduced spending for service contracts and outside professional services usage.

Fixed Charges- Savings of $0.4 from insurance savings and contribution reduction.

Contingency- Savings of $0.8 from Council ($0.1),Executive ($0.1) and Salary Contingencies ($0.6)  usage . 

-The General Fund Revenues were $17.8 million under original budget estimates as follows:

Transfer Tax- $15.0 million under original estimates due to decrease transactions and values. Very few commercial and apartment transactions.

Licenses/Permits-$2.0 million under original estimates due to Building Permits decline  ($1.4),Contractor Licenses ($0.4) and Plumbing Permits ( $0.1)

Intergovernmental- $1.0 million under original estimates due to Paramedic Reimbursement ($0.5), State air card card reimbursement (0.3) and RTT fees ($0.2).

Interest Earnings-$0.8 million due to rates.

Service Charges-$1.2 million over budget due to increased Sheriff Office  ($2.1) activity, Wills ($0.2), Instant Ticketing ($0.2) and Traffic Fines (0.1)  which are offset by Deeds Office decreased activity ($1.5 under budget).   

SUMMARY-General Fund use of reserves for the year was $27.3 million   ($25.2) which leaves available cash balances of 46.2  ($48.4)  million at 6/30/2009 (FY 2010 is budget using $6.9 million of the available cash balances). This excludes Rainy Day Reserve of $31.6 million.  

SEWER FUND

-The Sewer Fund Expenditures achieved budget savings of $4.0 million or 6% budget savings. Major savings are as follows:

Salaries- Total Savings of $1.4 million. Full Time savings of $1.4 million, Overtime savings of $0.4 million. These savings were partially offset by $0.4 million in severance payouts. 89% of budget used.

Communications/Utilities- Savings of $0.7 million attributable to electric usage.

Contractual Services-Savings of $0.9 million from service contracts and outside professional services usage.

-The Sewer Fund Revenues were $0.4 million under original budget estimates as follows:

Sewer Current- was $2.2 million under original estimate due to decline usage by commercial and industrial usage and residential billing.

Sewer Delinquent- was $1.0 million over original estimate due to collection efforts.

Septic Haulers- was $0.6 million over budget due to septic hauler activity.

SUMMARY-Sewer Fund use of reserves for the year were $3.1 million which leaves available cash balances of 11.5 million at 6/30/2009 excluding Rainy Day Reserve of $11.5 million.  Excludes consideration for City of Wilmington sewer payment based on arbitration decision.  

 

7/2/09 - RTT-FY 2009 Summary

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attached is RTT detail through June 2009. The amount collected for June was $1,413,954 ,  which was 50.49% below last year. For FY 2009 the RTT total collected of $16.6 million was 47.45% below the FY 2008 amount collected of $32.0 million.

For individual transactions under $500,000 (homes) for the year there was a 34.1% drop in the number of transactions and the average value of each dropped $15,871 or 6.1%. However, we have had three straight months (April-June) where the number of transactions increased (163-199-218). Also, in June we saw only a 25% drop in the number of these transactions compared to 28% in May and 36% in April.

For individual transactions over $5.0 million (commercial) we saw the number of these type of transactions drop from 28 to 13. The total value also dropped from $525 million to only $137 million. We did have one large commercial transaction in June of $5.5 million which was the sale of the Circuit City store on Concord Pike.

The budget estimate for RTT for FY 2010 is $14.9 million.

I would be glad to answer any follow up questions.

 

6/21/09 - FY 2009 Projections and Updated Checkbook

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attached you will find the FY 2009 budget projections with actual through 5/31 and updated General and Sewer Fund checkbooks

For the FY 2009 General Fund budget we are projecting to end the year with a $27.9 million shortfall largely attributable to RTT being $15.3 million below the original budget estimate of $31.9 million and License/Permits being $2.0 below the original budget estimate of $6.6 million. Other shortfalls are in tax assessment growth ($0.2) and interest earnings ($0.5). Shortfalls in the Recorder of Deeds fees have been offset by Sheriff Office activity.

The FY 2009 Sewer Fund will end with a $3.3 million shortfall primarily due to the current sewer billings being $1.7 million below original budget estimate of $51.9 million, This is due to decline in industrial and commercial billings.

I would be glad to answer any follow up questions.

6/16/09 - Councilman Weiner Requests Voluntary Deduction

Here is the letter to Ed Milowicki requesting that Councilman Weiner's voluntary 5% pay cut be be transmitted to County Pride to purchase books for the Brandywine Library.

6/4/09 - Real Estate Transfer Tax Update through May 2009

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attached is updated RTT through May

We collected $1,451,406 for the month of  May. This was the best month of collections since December.  

YTD collections through May are down $13.8 million or 47.15% compared to the same time period as last year.

For transactions under $500,000 we have seen for the year a 35% (1,155) decrease in the number of transactions and a 7% ($18,534) decrease in the average home sale value when compared to last year.

For year-end we should reach our estimate of $16.6 million.

5/29/2009 - Updated FY 2009 Projections and Checkbook

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attached you will find updated FY 2009  General and Sewer fund projections with actuals through April and an updated checkbook based on the Approved FY 2010 Budget. I would be glad to answer any follow up questions.

5/1/09 - 4/21/09 New Castle County Financial Advisory Committee Minutes

From: Cook, Shelley

Please find minutes from the NCC FAC meeting on April 21, 2009. The next meeting will be held at 3:30 p.m. on September 15, 2009 in the New Castle County Government Center in the Executive Conference Room.

5/1/09 - FY 2010-2015 Capital Program & Budget Joint Recommendation / FY 2010-2015 Proposed Capital Budget

From: Milowicki, Edward

1.Letter from the Planning Board and Department of Land Use approving the proposed Fiscal Year 2010-2015 Capital Program and Budget.

2.Summary schedule of activity for the Fiscal Year 2010-2015 which will be reviewed at the Council Capital Budget Hearing on Monday 5/4.

5/1/09 - Real Estate Transfer Tax Update through April 2009

From: Milowicki, Edward

RTT collected for the month of April was $903,134 or 63.2% below last April.  YTD collections are $13,973,326 which are 48.5% below last year for the same time period.

For the first four months of this calendar year we have averaged $916,845 monthly. In order to reach the FY 2009 current estimate of $16.6 we would need to average $1.3 million for May and June which tend to be better months for rtt collections .

For transaction under $500,000 through April the number of those transactions are down 35.4% and the value of each are down 7.8% 

We have estimated $14.9 million in the FY 2010 Budget.

4/27/09 - Special Services Budget Presenation

From: Svaby, Michael

Thank you for the opportunity to present the County's Special Services Budget this afternoon.

4/21/2009 - Updated Checkbooks and Activity

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attached you will find an updated  General and Sewer Fund Checkbook and FY 2009 budget activity.

In the General Fund we have  changed revenue estimates for FY 2009 by $400,000 due to refinancing activity in the deeds office ($0.2) and also one time return to the general fund of unused  prior years grant match ($0.2).  For RTT we maintain the estimate at $16.6 million for this current fiscal year. Due to the $400,000 revenue change the FY 2009 general fund shortfall is estimated at $26.9 million which was previously $27.3 million last month ($17 million in the original budget).  On a budgetary basis expenditures will be $8.7 million below budget  primarily due to cost saving initiatives undertaken while revenues will be $18.8 million under original revenue projections  primarily due to decline in rtt and building permit revenues.

In the Sewer Fund we are projecting a FY 2009 budget shortfall of $3.1 million primarily due to decline in commercial and industrial usage.   Outcome of the Wilmington Sewer will result in expenditures being  adjusted.

I would be glad to answer any follow up questions.

4/19/09 - 2007 County Property Tax Rankings on Owner-occupied Houses, by County, Ranked by Property Taxes Paid- From U.S. Census Bureau supplied by www.TaxFoundation.org

http://www.taxfoundation.org/files/proptax_owner-occ_bycounty2005-2007-20080923.swf

This table includes all 788 counties in our country with populations greater than 65,000 as of July, 2007 and considers owner occupied residential homes only. There are 3077 counties in the United States. Considering the referenced 788 counties’ median property taxes paid on homes, New Castle County, Delaware is ranked 502 out of 788; which places New Castle County on the low end of the chart. New Castle County’s median combined State school tax and property tax is $1296. The national median average is $1838.

The national median home value was $194,300 in 2007. In New Castle County, the median home value was $252,200 in 2007.

2007 county taxes as a percentage of home value is 0.5% in New Castle County. This ranks New Castle County on the low end of the chart at 667.

The national median income for home owners was $63,059 in 2007. In New Castle County, the median income was $75,121 in 2007.

2007 county taxes as a percentage of income was 2.9%. In New Castle County, the percentage was 1.7%. This ranks New Castle County on the low end of the chart at 625.

4/7/09 - Local Service Function Property Tax Credits

From: Milowicki, Edward

Per Council request from the Revenue Budget Hearing I have attached the Local Service Function Budget Matrix which denotes those municipalities that receive a credit for providing those services that are specifically annotated by State Code to receive credit.

4/7/09 - FY 2010 Revenue Summary Link

From: Milowicki, Edward

FY 2010 Revenue Summary which was presented to Council at the Revenue Budget Hearing.

4/2/09 - Real Estate Transfer Tax Collections for March 2009

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attached is the actual  New Castle County  RTT collected through March 31st. The amount collected  for this March was $1,051,972 which was 43% below last March ($1.9 million). Included in the  March FY 2010 collections of  $1,051,972 was $138,000 from the Hercules Golf Course Transaction .

YTD collections through March are running 47% below last year.  $24.7 vs. $13.1 collected ytd. 

The number of transactions under $500,000 for the year are 35% below last year while the average value of those transactions have dropped 7.5% from last year.

3/24/09 - FY 2010 Proposed Tax Rate Adjustment by Council District

The attached schedule reflects the average tax bill by Council district and dollar change with the FY 2010 proposed tax rate adjustment. This schedule includes both the municipalities and unincorporated areas within each Council District. I would be glad to answer any follow up questions.

3/20/09 - FY 2010 County Executive Coons Proposed Budget Summary

Summary of the 2010 proposed budget.

3/20/09 - Checkbook Update - March 2009

From: Milowicki, Edward

Attached is the updated general and sewer fund checkbook presentation for 2010 through 2014. The projections are based on the 2010 recommended budget. I will review these at the 3/24 Council Finance Meeting.

3/16/09 - RTT Activity Update

From: Milowicki, Edward

Based on RTT year to date activity, consumer confidence reports and real estate activity I have lowered the estimated RTT for this current fiscal year (2009) to a total of $16.6 million. In addition, the estimated FY 2010 RTT is $14.9 million.

At the New Castle County Financial Advisory Committee meeting last Thursday 3/12 the RTT activity was reviewed. In addition they were made aware of  the revised RTT projections for FY 2009 and FY 2010.

3/19/09 - NCC Reserves and Bond Rating

From: Majeski, Nicole

Hi Everyone,

We have recently received several questions from Council members regarding the County's reserves and bond rating.  Attached please find a memo from David Paul, the County's outside financial advisor, on the County's reserves and bond rating.  This memo provides background information on the County's bond rating, the importance the reserves have on the rating and it's overall value to the County.

I hope this memo is helpful and answer questions previously raised.

If you have any questions, please contact me or Ed Milowicki. 

Thanks,
Nicole

2/19/09 - Checkbook Update-February 2009

Attached are updated FY 2009 General and Sewer Fund activity worksheets with actual through 1/31 /2009  along with the General and Sewer Fund Checkbook Presentation

In the General Fund we continue to see  down activity in  assessment growth, rtt transactions, recordation  fees  and building permit activity.   Single Family Building Permits issued are down 60% from last year and Residential Addition/Alteration permits issued are down 15%.  Commercial Permit activity has also slowed down considerably.  In addition, we continue to monitor RTT transactions daily. Year end RTT is estimated to be in the $16.0 to $18.6 million range.  Both 2009 and 2010 RTT estimates may require downward revisions. 

In the Sewer Fund we still continue to see decline in the commercial/industrial area usage. Residential sewer bills are due on 3/2.  On the sewer fund expenditure side the City of Wilmington treatment arbitration outcome is still an outstanding issue  with potential fiscal impact .   

I would be glad to answer any follow up questions. 

Ed Milowicki

2/18/09 - Why County Police Take Home Their Police Cars & Why This Is Fiscally Prudent

To all,

As per your request from the Council Meeting on February 17, 2009 you will find the attached document.  Thank you for the opportunity to speak with all of you and let me know if you have any additional questions.

Very respectfully,
Captain Elmer M. Setting
Special Operations Commander
(302) 395-8027

2/7/09 - RTT activity through January

Attached you will find the RTT schedule through January activity.

RTT $$$ received for January was the lowest RTT for any month since February 2001.  January was 36.82% below last January and ytd activity is 47.95% below last year.

For transactions under $500,000 the number of transactions are 36.2% below last year and average sale price has dropped 6% below last year.

With five months left in the fiscal year the year total is estimated to be in the range of $16 million to $18 million. For FY 2006 the RTT collected was $40 million. Comparing FY 2006 vs FY 2009 that represents a 55% to 60% lost in the General Fund's second Largest Revenue Source.

Ed Milowicki

12/30/08 - Letter to Organizations Regards NCC Financial Situation

Hi Everyone,

Throughout the year, the County Executive's office receives numerous requests for funding from various organizations for things such as tickets/sponsorships for events, program advertisements, grants for programs, etc.  I know County Council receives similar requests.  Given the state of New Castle County's finances, we are sending a letter to organizations who have received financial assistance from the Executive Office in the amount of $1,000 or more over the past year.  The letter outlines the county's current financial situation and states that the county is no longer in the position to continue funding organizations at past levels. 

Attached is the letter that will be sent.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks
Nicole Majeski

12/18/08 - New Castle County Additional Budget Reductions for FY09

Hi Everyone,

Today the County Executive announced the next round of budget reductions for this fiscal year.  New Castle County revenue estimates continue to decline. The County’s projected revenue for the year has fallen by another $2 million, increasing the deficit for the current fiscal year to $32 million.  The size of the County’s deficit in relation to its budget is now nearly 19%, almost identical to the State of Delaware’s deficit in relation to its budget.

Some of the reductions to be announced today include:
-  Mandatory unpaid furlough time for the County Executive, Department General Managers, Chief Administrative Officer, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, and Chief of Staff
-  Reducing Special Services part time and seasonal staffing by 18 positions
-  County libraries will be closed Sundays and Thursday evenings beginning in January. 
-  Beginning January 2, the Activity Centers at Garfield Park and Hockessin will close on Fridays and overall hours will decrease 
-  Cost-cutting in the Mounted Patrol Unit
-  Operating reductions in maintenance and engineering contracts 
-  Sewer connections provided to residents at significantly discounted rates will discontinue
-  Some county parks will see the elimination of grass cutting in meadow areas and the county will institute a carry-in carry-out policy for trash similar to that in state parks 

The complete list of reductions in attached.

The cuts across all areas of government will help the County save nearly $2.5 million over the final six months of the FY2009 budget and $5 million in future budget years.

Attached are the complete list of reductions, the letter sent to all county employees and the press release.   

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks,
Bob Weiner, your County Councilman

 

12/18/08 - Final Audit Report: Change Orders and Contractor Payments - Construction Projects

Attached is the final audit report for "Change Orders and Contractor Payments - Construction Projects."  I have also attached an executive summary of the report.  The Audit Committee formally reviewed and approved the report and executive summary at last Tuesday's Audit Committee meeting.  The report opinion is "unqualified" although we do have five "Other Reportable Items", which are opportunities to improve the system of internal control.

I'd again like to thank the management and staff of the Special Services and Administrative Services Departments for their cooperation and courtesy during the course of the audit.

Please let me know if you have any comments and/or questions about anything in the audit report or executive summary
Thank you.

Bob Wasserbach
County Auditor

 

12/17/08 - Reassessment Report for HJR 22

Attached you will find the Reassessment Report that was produced from the committee that was formed from HJR 22.

The report was issued in November 2008.

Ed Milowicki

12/17/08 - UPDATED--- NCC Checkbook and FY 2009 Projections

Files: NCC Checkbook and FY 2009 Projections

After meeting with budget staff this week to review November revenue activity I have again lowered the  FY 2009 revenue estimates for the current  fiscal year.

General Fund revenues are now projected to be $16.3 million ($14.2 prior) below the original revenue estimate for the fiscal year of $159.4 million.  This represents a 10.2% revenue loss.     

We see little activity in the building permit and deeds related activity and rtt is now down close to 50% through November.  

RTT is now estimated at $18.6 million for the year or $13.3 below  original budget estimate of $31.9.

The current year general budget shortfall is now estimated to be $32 million.  The original approved budget started with a shortfall of $17 million. We now have a 18.8% budget shortfall.

I would be glad to answer any follow up questions or concerns.

Ed Milowicki

12/6/08 - 2007 Task Force Report with Status of Recommendation

I wanted to give you this report before hand to review due to the large Finance Agenda.

I will review and discuss at the meeting. Attached is the 2007 Final Task Force Report.

I have annotated each recommendation within the report in YELLOW as follows:

COMPLETED
IN PROGRESS
UNDER REVIEW

Ed Milowicki

12/6/08 - RTT for November Update

Attached you will find RTT updated through November. At this time I will be leaving the year end RTT estimate at a maximum amount of $20 million. Range will be in the $18 to $20 million estimate for the year.

Through November RTT transactions under $500,000 are down 656 transactions or 36.3% and the average value has dropped $25,495 or 9.2%.

The only noteworthy transaction was the sale of one of the anchor stores at Christiana Mall to TARGET for which NCC realized $110,840.  

Department of Land Use is now projecting their building permit revenues to be $1.0 under the budget estimate of $6.6 million for building permits.  Previous estimate was $0.6 million below budget estimate.

Ed Milowicki

11/20/08 - Updated Checkbook and Projections

Attached you will find the latest checkbook (excludes proposed reductions) and projections for the general and sewer fund.

The downturn in the economy has also had impact on the sewer fund. With the most recent industrial/commercial/contractual sewer billing we continue to see decreases in usage thus resulting in revenues now estimated to be $1.3 million below budget estimates. Water date for the residential billing will not be received until December for the annual bill.

Through mid-November RTT is running $660,000 below last November for the same time period. 

Ed Milowicki

11/13/08 - Message from the County Executive: Cost Cutting Measures

Hi Everyone,

Over the past several months, the economy has taken an unprecedented downturn.  As you have seen through Finance's checkbook presentations, New Castle County has significantly felt the impact.Our estimated revenues for the current fiscal year have dropped $14.2 million, primarily due to the drop in real estate transfer tax, Deeds office transactions and residential building permits and additions.  Even more disturbing, those revenues continue to decline. 

With no improvement in our situation on the horizon, we have no choice but to adjust how we do business to meet our current fiscal reality. 

Tomorrow, Thursday, November 13th, the County Executive will be discussing our financial situation and publicly announcing cost cutting measure. 

The following measures will be announced tomorrow and will immediately be put into place:

-         Hiring freeze for non-essential positions
-         Overtime spending only for approved critical needs
-         Reductions in capital spending projects
-         Limits on all travel and training
-         Prior approval for all contractual services requests for spending
-         Reductions in all new major equipment purchases/replacement including public safety fleet
 
These measures could help save as much as $5 million during our current fiscal year, but that is only a fraction of the revenues we have already lost in the last 5 months.  Further action will be necessary to address our bleak financial picture.  The County's current year general fund projected budget shortfall has risen from $17 million to nearly $30 million at year-end.  This represents a budget deficit of 17% of our general operating budget.  We are now using up our operating reserves so quickly that at our current rate of spending, we will exhaust those reserves before the end of the next fiscal year.

In the weeks ahead, we anticipate that additional actions will be necessary, including the reduction or elimination of some non-essential services.  Also, as we prepare next year’s budget, general managers and the Department of Finance will work to further reduce spending.  We will continue to follow our approach of the last four years – seeking to both increase revenues and cut expenses to ensure longer-term financial stability for the County.

Chris would like to invite you to join him tomorrow as he makes this public announcement. The press announcement will take place tomorrow, Thursday, November 13th at 1:30pm in the lobby of the Government Center. 

Attached is the letter that will be sent out to all county employees tomorrow morning.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

11/12/08 - False Alarm Reduction Program - Status Report

Attached is the current status report and update on the "False-Alarm Reduction Program."

Lieutenant Craig Weldon continues to manage this program, and has done an excellent job keep it moving.  Year to date we have collected  $25,970. 

Should you have questions or need any additional information, please contact us.

Sincerely,
Colonel Rick S. Gregory
Chief
New Castle County Police Department

11/12/08 - Library Master Plan

Dear Council Members
As a follow-up to my presentation at the Community Services meeting, I wanted to send you the final document. Thank you for your input on the Master Plan for Libraries and your recommendations. We were fortunate to receive a grant from the State for a consultant services so that this process will not require any county funds. I attached the design and timeline with the names of members of the subcommittees. If you have any additional recommendations, please forward them to me.
Sincerely,
Anne

Anne Farley
General Manager DCS
395-560

 

 

11/5/08 - New Castle County Real Estate Transfer Tax Receipts Plummits [fiscal year update through October]

This is a report from Ed Milowicki, Acting General Manager, New Castle County Finance Department to New Castle County Council.

Attached you find the actual RTT collections through October.  This October dollar activity was 48.05% below last October while year to date is 47.25% for the same time period as last year.

For the category of transactions under $500,000 we have seen a year to date drop of 33.3% in the number of transactions while the average value of those transactions have dropped $32,305 or 11.3%.

As stated previously, in the General Fund Checkbook we currently have for FY 2009 estimated $23 million in RTT.  Looking at October activity and forward the $23 million is on the high side unless some large transactions process over the next eight months.  Barring large transaction the RTT estimate may fall to $20 million for the Fiscal Year.  We will continue to analyze and provide an updated checkbook at Council Finance meeting.

11/2/08 - Revised  Reserve Account Distribution

This is a report from Ed Milowicki, Acting General Manager, New Castle County Finance Department to New Castle County Council.

Per request from Councilmember McClellan I have revised the schedule of the history of the spend down of the general fund and sewer fund reserve accounts to break out the purpose of each years transfers out. The detail of those allocations were taken directly from the County's audited Comprehensive Annual Financial Statements.

In addition, I have included a detailed list of Sewer Fund projects that allocations were made in FY 2006 to account for the $66.4 million transfer. These projects are reimbursed on a quarterly basis on actual expenses as the projects move forward.

I would be glad to answer any follow up questions.

10/29/08 - Final NCC Task Force Report

This is a report from Ed Milowicki, Acting General Manager, New Castle County Finance Department to New Castle County Council.

Per request of Council members attached is the 2007 Final NCC Task Force report that was issued.  This report and all related documents and information can be found on the Finance Office Web page under the Financial Task Force TAB

10/29/08 - Council Finance Meeting HANDOUTS 10/28

This is a report from Ed Milowicki, Acting General Manager, New Castle County Finance Department to New Castle County Council.

Attached are the other two handouts I presented at the Council Finance meeting in case you would like to have in your files or distribute.

The first showing that nearly 50% of our FY 2009 debt service goes to recently completed general fund projects throughout the County.

The second shows that back in 1996 County tax revenues represented the major revenue source to the County and as RTT grew over the years the share of County tax revenues as part of our revenue portfolio decreased and budgets were built assuming continued growth in rtt as a major revenue source but with the recent downturn in the housing market the RTT share has dropped considerably and the County tax revenue percentage has increased.

10/29/08 - Local Government Reactions to the Economy & Tax Rate vs. CPI

This is a report from Ed Milowicki, Acting General Manager, New Castle County Finance Department to New Castle County Council.

Attached for your information are various articles as to what local governments are either doing or anticipating actions due to the downturn in the economy. I thought based on discussion at the Council Finance meeting yesterday that you would be interested in seeing these articles.

In addition, I have attached the schedule showing what the County tax rate would be if it was increased by CPI vs. the current county tax rate.  I also had discussed this issue at the Council Finance meeting.

10/24/08 - FY 2009 Sewer Fund Budget Update and Checkbook and General Fund Revenue Chart

This is a report from Ed Milowicki, Acting General Manager, New Castle County Finance Department to New Castle County Council. It is a report from the County Finance Dept regarding Fiscal Year 2009 Sewer Fund Budget Update and Checkbook and General Fund Revenue Chart

Please find attached an update on the FY 2009 Sewer Fund budget and also the Sewer Fund checkbook. The first quarter sewer billings for commercials, industrials and contract users showed decrease usage in all areas. Based on this first quarter activity the current sewer fee budget estimate could be $1.0 million below original budget of $51.9 million. The residential sewer bills will go out in early January so we will see then how the residential compare to budget estimates as we receive water data to base the residential bills in late December.

Overall, the Sewer fund is anticipated to have a $ 4.8 million budget shortfall at this time. Expenditure projections may be impacted depending on the Wilmington Treatment negotiations.

In addition, I have attached a General Fund chart (1996-2009) for your review that shows back in 2006 the real estate transfer tax provided 26% of all revenues to the general fund. For FY 2009 that percentage is now at 16%.

Ed Milowicki, Acting General Manager, New Castle County Finance Department
emilowicki@nccde.org    302-395-5153

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