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Charlottesville City Council to Decide How to Spend Surplus - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Charlottesville City Council to Decide How to Spend Budget Surplus

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Charlottesville City Council decided Monday night what to do with millions of dollars left over from last year.  Charlottesville council will decide Monday night how to spend a $3.8 million budget surplus.

Councilors followed city staff's recommendation to use the bulk of the $3.8 million budget surplus for one-time capital improvement projects such as road maintenance. Before the decision, the city was working with fewer capital improvement funds this year than in past years.

The surplus came from a couple of different places. First, the city saved money during the last fiscal year when expenses came in $2.9 million under budget. On top of that, the city collected $900,000 more revenue than expected in 2012 - largely from a spike in sales, meals and lodging taxes.

Vice Mayor Kristin Szakos says it is evidence of a recovering economy. "When we set the budget, the economy was in worse shape. It's gotten better and we've seen that reflected in the revenues that have come in," she said.

It is worth noting that, while $3.8 million is a lot of money to have left over, it isn't much when compared to the overall budget – it is just 2.3 percent. The surplus has been a bit of a talking point in recent weeks, but it is worth noting that the city deals with a similar budget surplus almost every year, with somewhere between $3 million and $6 million left over every year since 2009.

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