Revenue Summaries & Explanations
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The following guide provides summaries on the various revenues collected by the City and an explanation of the City's modified accrual accounting procedures. Click on any of the links in the Quick Guide to view information on any specific revenue type or explanation.
FY 2012 Revised Budget: Includes initial appropriation at start of fiscal year plus any reappropriation of encumbrances and other supplemental appropriations.
Real Property Taxes: Real property taxes are assessed as of January 1 and assessment notices are mailed to property owners in February. Real estate taxes are billed and payable in two installments. The first tax bill is mailed in May and is payable by June 15. The second tax bill is mailed in October and is payable by November 15.
Personal Property Taxes: Personal property tax revenue consists of two sources: individual personal property (primarily vehicles), and business personal property (includes motor vehicles, machinery, computers, and furniture). Taxes are assessed as of January 1. Tax bills are mailed to taxpayers in late August and are due on October 5. The State’s share of the local personal property tax payment for FY 2012 is capped at $23.6 million. In FY 2012, this amount will cover approximately 63 percent of most taxpayers’ bills. It covered approximately 69 percent of most taxpayers’ bills in FY 2011.
Penalties & Interest: Penalties and interest on delinquent real estate and personal property tax.
Local Sales and Use Tax: Businesses remit sales tax to the Commonwealth within 30 days of the end of the month in which sales occurred. The Commonwealth wires the City’s portion of the sales tax approximately one month later.
Consumer Utility Taxes: Consumer utility taxes are collected by the utility companies one month after billing and are remitted to the City the following month.
Communications Sales and Use Taxes: Businesses remit the communications tax to the Commonwealth within 30 days of the end of the month in which the service occurred. The Commonwealth wires the City’s portion of the communication tax one month later.
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Business License Taxes: The City’s business license tax is due March 1. These collections are counted and analyzed in March. Most collections prior to March represent collections from taxpayers who pay on a quarterly basis. Collections from new businesses continue year-round.
Transient Lodging Taxes: Transient lodging taxes are remitted to the City within one month after collections.
Restaurant Meals Taxes: Meals and alcoholic beverage taxes are due to the City within 30 days of the month the sales occurred.
Tobacco Taxes: Businesses remit cigarette tax revenue to the Northern Virginia Cigarette Tax Board. This revenue is then forwarded to the City approximately 30 days after the end of the month in which the sales occurred.
Motor vehicle license tax: Also known as the decal fee, this is an annual license tax on all motor vehicles, trailers, and semitrailers. Payment is due by October 5 each year. Collections for vehicles newly purchased or moved into the City continue year-round.
Real Estate Recordation Taxes: Real estate recordation tax revenues are collected by the Clerk of the Circuit Court and remitted to the City the following month.
Admissions Tax: The admissions taxes are remitted to the City within one month after collections.
Other Local Taxes: This category includes the telecommunications tax, car rental tax, and bank franchise tax.
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Revenue from the Federal Government: This category includes reimbursement for federal prisoners held at the Alexandria Detention Center, and State Criminal Alien Assistance Program Aid (SCAAP).
Personal Property Tax Reimbursement from the Commonwealth: The Commonwealth of Virginia’s share of Alexandria’s personal property tax on vehicles is currently capped at $23.6 million. In FY 2012, this amount will cover approximately 63 percent of most taxpayers’ bills. It covered approximately 69 percent of most taxpayers’ bills in FY 2011.
Revenue from the Commonwealth: Includes Compensation Board reimbursements for public safety and finance functions, payment made to jurisdictions with Police Departments (H.B. 599), and aid for road maintenance.
Fines & Forfeitures: Includes parking fines and court fees.
Licenses & Permits: Includes mostly building permits and other Code fees.
Charges for Services: Revenues in this category include refuse user charges, ambulance fees, clerk fees and parking meter receipts.
Revenue from Use of Money & Property: Revenues in this category include interest on investments, parking garage/lot fees and rental of property income.
Other Revenue: Includes other non-tax revenues such as impound lot fees, surplus property sales, and purchase card rebates.
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Explanation of Modified Accrual Accounting
In accordance with accounting and reporting requirements established by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) and the Auditor of Public Accounts for the Commonwealth of Virginia (APA), revenues collected by the City's agents before June 30, 2011, but not actually received by the City until July or August, are counted or accrued as FY 2011 revenues. These accrued revenues will include:
- Sales Tax collected by merchants in May and June, forwarded to the Commonwealth in June and July and remitted to the City in July and August;
- Consumer Utility Tax billed by the utility companies in May and June, collected by the utility companies in June and July and remitted to the City in July and August;
- Communication Tax billed by the applicable companies in May and June, collected by the utility companies in June and July and remitted to the City in July and August;
- Transient Lodging Tax revenue collected by Alexandria hotels in June and remitted to the City in July;
- Restaurant Meals Tax revenue collected by Alexandria restaurants in June and remitted to the City in July;
- Tobacco Tax revenue collected by the Northern Virginia Cigarette Tax Board in June and remitted to the City in July;
- Real Estate Recordation Tax revenue collected by the Clerk of the Circuit Court in June and remitted to the City in July;
- Admissions Tax revenue collected by Alexandria merchants in June and remitted to the City in July.
The GASB also requires the City to recognize certain General Fund revenues when they are "measurable and available." Tax revenues are deemed to be "measurable" when they are levied, and the APA has defined "available" to include tax collections within 45 days of the fiscal year end. Accordingly, fiscal year end revenues in the following categories will eventually include collections through August 15:
- real property tax
- personal property tax
- property tax penalties and interest payments, and
- business license tax
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