I continue to be encouraged by the early payment of our local government membership dues. As of yesterday, we had received payments of $1,367,681 from 525 cities and counties. This represents 91.6% of our anticipated dues payments for the fiscal year. It compares favorably with the membership dues payments received last fiscal year by August 31, 2008. At that time, we had received 91.5% of the anticipated payments for the fiscal year from 502 cities and counties. I am cautiously optimistic about receiving membership dues from all of the counties this fiscal year, and I am hopeful that the total dues payments from cities will come close to matching what we received last year.
As I said during the budget roundtables, I honestly had no way of predicting what would happen with membership dues. I am thrilled with our experience so far. The membership dues continue to be a strong indicator that local governments are pleased with the services that all of you provide to them. I’m on the road for the rest of this week to thank managers for these payments, and to ask about their most pressing needs.
The news is not as good so far in looking at our receipts, and I continue to be very concerned about a substantial shortfall this year. Our financial reports show receipts for this fiscal year at well below those for the same period during last fiscal year. As of yesterday, our total receipts were $572,828 compared to $690,175 for last year. This represents a 17% decrease in total receipts. Sales of publications decreased 30% from $197,632 to $139,157 and the revenue from courses and conferences was down 20% from $315,663 to $251,980. If this pattern continues throughout the balance of this fiscal year, our usual level of receipts will drop by approximately $675,000.
I will continue to keep you posted about membership dues and receipts, but we need to work on generating more receipts. I have appointed the Training for Tough Times Committee, which will be surveying faculty and program managers to find out what folks are doing and would be willing to do to provide special training. Thanks for all that you are doing to control expenditures and generate additional revenues this year. I really appreciate it.