The Finance Department, under the direction of the Finance Director, is responsible for the audit and maintenance of all City financial records and accounts including all assets and liabilities in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). The director is responsible for the custody, investment, and disbursement of all City funds and follows the investment policy as established by Council. The department also maintains effective and efficient procurement procedures, provides accurate and efficient payroll services, ensures enforcement of the income tax ordinance, and provides accurate centralized billing services for the stormwater utility fees, solid waste service fees, miscellaneous fees, and user charges.
The City of Upper Arlington is proud to have attained a Triple A bond rating status from both Moody’s Investors Service and S & P Global. These rating designations represent the highest rating possible and enable the City to obtain the lowest interest rates when issuing debt.
The Finance Department is committed to helping residents better understand and have convenient access to the many financial aspects that affect your local government. Our OpenGov portal allows you to create and analyze visualizations of financial data firsthand, including access to annual budget reports dating back to 2014. Using both annual and monthly reports, it’s possible to access specific department-level data or view a more holistic overview of our organization’s expenditures and revenues. It’s also possible to download or email any chart, graph or data directly to your own device for further analysis.
Tips Using OpenGov
- The portal allows you to explore budget and historical finances in a simple, graphical user interface.
- The title of the chart or graph being viewed is on top, along with the account type selector.
- To focus on specific data—like a fund, department, expense or revenue type, or any combination—use the menu on the left-side panel.
- For reports with multiple years of data, a Fiscal Year slider will be present below the Filtered By menu.
- Not every revenue or expense category will apply to every fund or department—if a category is not applicable, it will be greyed out.
- There are five types of visual representations of the data: an area graph, an area graph by percentage, a line graph, a pie graph and a table.
- In this reporting tool we have grouped all funds into three major categories:
- The Governmental Fundscategory covers most governmental expenses and revenue, including Community Development, Parks & Recreation, Public Service, General Government, Public Safety, Capital Outlay, Debt Service Payments, Income Tax, Property Tax, Charges for Services, Intergovernmental, Licenses and Permits and Investment Earnings.
- The Proprietary Fundscategory includes Enterprise and Internal Service Funds. The Enterprise fund type consists of a series of individual funds whose intent is that the cost of proving goods or services to the general public on continuing basis be financed or recovered primarily through user charges. The Water Surcharge, Sewer Surcharge, Stormwater Management, Solid Waste and Swimming Pool funds make up the Enterprise Fund type. The Internal Service fund type consists of a series of funds used to account for the recovery of costs and payment premiums for employee health, dental and workers compensation benefits.
- The Fiduciary Fundscategory funds are used to account for resources held for the benefit of parties outside the government. Examples include: Construction withholding accounts and unclaimed funds.
- The City uses a modified cash basis for presentation of budgetary data. Revenues are recognized when the cash is received, while expenditures include cash payments for goods and services as well as encumbrances (a commitment to purchase goods and services, and includes one or more year’s payments depending on the relationship between the services rendered and the stream of payments).
- The data is solely for the City of Upper Arlington and does not include financial data from any outside entities.
The financial statements appearing in the Annual Report are prepared in conformance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and audited by an independent auditing firm. The numbers contained within the Annual Report are obtained by employing the basis of accounting principles as prescribed by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). The City’s Annual Report documents have received a Certificate of Achievement of Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) every year since 1987.
Past Year Annual Report documents can be accessed via Archives Portal – Finance search.
Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR)
Our PAFR provides an accessible overview of the City’s financial position, its policies, and its commitment to providing responsive services and programs in a fiscally responsible manner. We provide details of how the City’s revenue is generated, where dollars are spent, and how the local economy impacts Upper Arlington’s overall financial status. Our PAFR documents have received an Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Government Finance Officers Association every year since 2005.
Past Year PAFR documents can be accessed via Archives Portal – Finance search.
Finance prepares a biennial (two-year) Municipal Services Program of Services Budget that details the City’s budget by fund, department, operating and capital. Our budget documents have received biennial Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards from the Government Finance Officers Association since 1990. To qualify for this award, a governmental unit must publish a document that meets program criteria as a policy document, as an operations guide, as a financial plan and as a communications medium.
Past Year budget documents can be accessed via Archives Portal – Finance search.
Monthly Finance Director Reports
Finance provides a monthly Finance Report to City Council, detailing highlights of the past month’s revenues, expenditures and noting any emerging trends. These documents can be accessed via Archives Portal – Finance search.
A 2.5% municipal income tax is imposed on anyone who earns income in the City of Upper Arlington, as well as residents who earn income elsewhere. An offsetting credit up to 2.5% is available when income tax has been paid to another municipality.
Estimated quarterly payments are required when local income tax is not automatically withheld from income, provided the annual liability is $200 or greater.
All residents aged 18 years or over must file an annual income tax return or a “Tax Exemption Form” with the City of Upper Arlington, regardless of whether any tax is due. The annual deadline for returns is typically April 15. The City of Upper Arlington utilizes the services of the Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA), www.ritaohio.com, as its local income tax agent for processing, collections and billing. Additional information may be found under the Tax Forms & Brochures tab.
Income tax return forms can be obtained by clicking the Tax Forms tab on left, from the UA Public Libraries, or by contacting the Tax Division, at 614-583-5291.
Effective 2020, an annual effective tax rate of $68.33 per $1,000 valuation is charged for residential property in Upper Arlington. The assessed valuation is approximately 35% of the appraised value of the property. The Franklin County Treasurer collects property taxes and remits to the City its portion of $5 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
A 7.5% sales tax is imposed on taxable purchases in Franklin County.
By choosing to live in a community like Upper Arlington, we expect and receive a high level of services. We all benefit from exceptional emergency and medical services, beautiful tree-lined streets, free leaf collection and superb snow removal services. Likewise, we all share a responsibility for funding these services.
Every resident aged 18 years and over must file an annual income tax return with the City of Upper Arlington, regardless of whether any tax is due. Unfortunately not all residents comply, even though they receive a series of notices explaining this simple requirement.
Throughout the year the City Attorney will issue letters to delinquent taxpayers, explaining that the City is preparing to file criminal charges of “Failure to Pay/File”—which is a First Degree Misdemeanor, subject to up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000, plus court and Subpoena Program costs. Should cases reach this stage, they also become public record and may be listed in local newspapers.
Additionally, the City will regularly coordinate with the Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA), which administers income tax filings for the City, coordinates an Income Tax Subpoena for those who have failed to file. The residents who receive subpoenas are required to appear in person to resolve their delinquent tax accounts. This program resolves many outstanding issues each year, however some cases still remain that the City must address.
It is unfortunate that cases reach this point, but to be fair to the majority of residents who accept their responsibility and regularly file tax returns, we must be consistent in applying the City’s income tax laws.
If you have questions or wish to resolve an outstanding income tax matter, use the contact form below.
Finance Department (3)
If I sell my home between utility billing cycles, will the City reimburse me for the “unused” service period?
No, all fees included on your utility invoice (stormwater, solid waste, neighborhood lighting utility—if applicable) run with the property and the City does not prorate the amount due should a property change hands during the year. The individual/party that owns the property in question when the utility bill is received is responsible for payment in full.We recommend that you discuss balancing your utility account through your realtor and escrow closing, similar to how property taxes are pro-rated.