City Council Readies for Final Budget Proposal

The City Council plans to finally consider a budget proposal for the forthcoming fiscal year at its Friday morning meeting, where it also is expected to establish the public safety parcel tax levy for the year.
If approved, the budget would take effect on July 1, as scheduled; substantive changes to the budget would require a new public hearing, although there remain two regularly scheduled meetings in June that would allow a July 1 adoption.
The budget to be presented predicts $31.8 million in total revenues for the 2019-20 fiscal year, an increase by 3.4% from the outgoing year. Operating expenditures are listed as $25.9 million (up by 6.2%) and the capital budget is slated for $7.2 million. Because the capital budget is funded by money already stashed away in a capital fund, the city expects to add $4.1 million in operating revenue and expenditures to general fund reserves.
The capital budget includes 17 new capital improvement projects, re-appropriated money from unfinished projects that were started in the current year and 14 capital equipment purchases.
The presented budget culminates several months of budgeting, which included the City Council identifying priority initiatives for city staff to consider and the addition or elimination of certain proposed expenditures based on cost, timeliness or perceived need.
The City Council also will consider a staff recommendation to set a levy of $3,594,029 for the public safety parcel tax, a 5% increase from the outgoing year’s levy.
That increase is within the amount allowed by the ordinance through which residents approved the tax, which was most recently approved for fiscal year 2016-17. The tax, which was first enacted in 1980, has provided significant funding for the city’s police and fire departments, both of which remain in high esteem throughout the city.
The tax is scheduled to sunset at the end of the upcoming fiscal year and is expected to be placed on the ballot for November’s election, in which two of the five City Council seats also will be decided. It will be the second time this year voters will be tasked with a parcel tax decision, after they approved the renewal of one for the San Marino Unified School District in February.
The City Council meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. Friday, May 31, in the Barth Room at Crowell Public Library. The full agenda packet can be viewed on the city’s website.

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