Denver, Kansas City and St. Louis Municipalities Continue to Operate at a Healthy Surplus on a Government-wide Basis
According to RubinBrown’s 2019 Public Sector Municipal Statistical Analysis, 2018 was another year of moderate growth in the financial health of cities in the St. Louis region and significant growth in the Denver and Kansas City regions. The analysis has been created in order to provide a comprehensive report of key government-wide, governmental fund and general fund financial ratios by region.
In Denver, results indicate financial conditions continue to improve and have been doing so since 2014. Median tax revenue per capita for Denver municipalities rose 3.7%, and operating margin in the general fund rose from 2.8% to 5.4%.
In Kansas City, tax revenues in total for the 24 cities in the survey increased approximately 9% and 2.3% in 2018 and 2017, respectively. For 2015 and 2017, the median tax revenue decreased because of the mix of total revenues for the 24 cities. For those years, tax revenue only made up approximately 60% of total revenues where in 2018 it was 71%.
Since 2016, the St. Louis area has experienced a steady pace of growth in net position and related revenue growth. The median change in net position for St. Louis municipalities increased to 3.3% in 2018. More cites ended the year with a surplus than in the past.
For all regions both net position and fund balances grew at a slightly faster pace than in past years. In 2018, on average, tax revenue per capita increased causing cities to rely less on intergovernmental revenues and other non-local revenue sources. The decreases in intergovernmental revenue ratios reflected this. Costs continue to rise and for most at a faster pace than revenues. Regardless of the challenges, most regions are operating at a healthy surplus on a government-wide basis as well as the general fund.
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