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$13.8 million more in revenue for city

Mid-year budget adjustments show an increase in amount in general fund

Posted: December 16, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 16, 2012 2:00 a.m.

 The city of Santa Clarita got an early Christmas gift this year in the form of a rosier-than-expected budget outlook.

The city’s mid-year budget adjustments, approved by the Santa Clarita City Council last week, project it will pull in about $13.8 million more in revenue than previously expected.

Some $939,980 of that increase is in the general fund, which means the city has greater freedom to spend it.

Much of the remainder is earmarked for specific purposes.

City Manager Ken Striplin said the general fund uptick isn’t that significant of an amount — about $82 million a year goes into that pot — but the overall improvement in revenue is a good sign.

The $288,500 boost in revenue from the city’s transient occupancy tax, for example, shows more visitors are coming to Santa Clarita. The tax is levied on people staying in hotel rooms.

“That tax represents people coming into Santa Clarita, which is good for business,” Striplin said.

The mid-year budget adjustment is a standard part of the budget-setting process, Striplin said.

The city begins the budget-planning process for each fiscal year in January, he said. The budget is then revised and updated as necessary until it is approved ahead of the beginning of a new fiscal year on July 1.

Because the process begins so early, the budget reality sometimes does not match up with projections, Striplin said.

An example of the importance of mid-year adjustments this year is the city’s recent annexations, he said.

The newly added neighborhoods meant a $150,000 spike in expenses to the city for additional public safety patrols in the areas of Jakes Way and Fair Oaks Ranch. They also meant a $100,923 hike in parks expenses for the upkeep of additional parks, according to city records.

Annexations also benefit the city as they increase revenue from such sources as sales tax collected from added retail centers.

All told, the city is expected to spend about $2.5 million more than originally budgeted this fiscal year.

Some added expenses include $92,500 for a graffiti removal vehicle, $120,000 for the design and construction of sidewalks near the new Canyon Country Community Center and $150,000 for Sierra Highway bridges over the Santa Clara River.

Last year’s mid-year budget adjustment saw the city’s projected revenue increase by $7.3 million, but projected expenditures increased by more than $9 million.



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