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Council satisfied with proposed budget for 2011

SOLANA BEACH — Although a final budget for the upcoming fiscal year won’t be presented until June 23, council members discussed a proposed document at the May 26 meeting that has the city’s general fund looking at a deficit of approximately $500,000.
A proposition on the June 8 ballot asks voters if they will support implementation of a business tax that is expected to generate approximately $500,000 of additional revenue.
Total general fund revenues are estimated at $13,066,000. Property taxes, which account for 40 percent of revenue, are projected to be a little more than $5.2 million. That represents a 1 percent decline, a first for the county’s second smallest city.
Sales tax is expected to increase by 11 percent to about $2.6 million. A 1 percent uptick in the transient occupancy tax, which represents 6 percent of revenue, is also anticipated, with total income projected to be $750,000.
“Hopefully we’re bouncing off that bottom,” City Manager David Ott said.
General fund expenditures are estimated at $13,516,850. Ott said city staff has “spent the last two years taking a surgical knife to everything.” He said the number of full-time employees is at its lowest level in a decade.
“This is a budget that I can support,” Mayor Tom Campbell said. “Overall I do not mind utilizing reserves to do this. I think that we’ve been able to maintain services through the creative efforts of our city manager and our city staff. I think we’re moving in the right direction.
“Even going into reserves … we still have a very healthy reserve balance left over,” he said. “The city is in good financial shape compared to many cities that are operating on a shoe string. … We’re very fortunate.”