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City anticipates losing $2M in revenue

Posted: March 7, 2008 2:27 a.m.
Updated: May 8, 2008 5:02 a.m.
Due in large part to a struggling state economy and housing market, City Manager Ken Pulskamp said this week he expects to see a $2 million drop in revenue in Santa Clarita's 2008-2009 budget.

"We are not isolated from these issues," Pulskamp said. "These issues will impact our sales tax, they impact our development revenue and both of those are significant general fund resources for the city."

The city is expecting total revenues to reach $87 million, down about 2 percent compared to revenues the city expects to generate by the end of the current fiscal year, according to the city's general fund forecast released this week.

The city expects development revenues to drop nearly 11 percent.

Though sales will likely decline for local business, the city's sales tax revenue is expected to hold at about $33 million since several large businesses along Golden Valley Road in Canyon Country are expected to open in the coming year, Pulskamp said.

The city is expecting a 57 percent drop in non-operating expenditures and a slight decrease in operating expenditures, with total expenditures expected to come in at $84 million.

Pulskamp said he has instructed his staff to "stay the course" on many of the city's projects. The city's Parks, Recreation and Community Services department will likely continue get the highest share - almost $21 million.

Pulskamp and other city staff met Tuesday with members of the City Council, Planning Commission and Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission to ask for input on priorities for the city's capital improvement projects.

Top requests included the George A. Caravalho Sports Complex expansion, the Central Park expansion and construction of a Canyon Country community center, all of which are on the city's priority list of projects.

Also on Pulskamp's list were plans to move forward with the downtown Newhall library and the area's specific plan, the cross-valley connector and the expansion of the joint county and city civic center.

Other challenges the city could face include infrastructure needs and rapid growth, Pulskamp said. Another challenge the city faces is anticipating how the annexations of west side communities may impact the city in terms of population, he said.

Pulskamp said the city remains in good shape due to conservative spending, especially on staff expenses, during the city's more prosperous years.

"The decisions we've made during the good times are more important than what we do during the bad times," he said. "If you don't have the positions in the first place during the good times, you don't have to lay them off during the bad."

The budget forecast does not include increases to existing contracts or other additions, including projects for which the city has not signed contracts.

The city plans to present the council with a balanced budget in May.

City Spending

2008-2009 General Fund forecast for the city of Santa Clarita:

  • Revenues: $86,981,516
  • Operating Expenditures: $76,605,165
  • Non-operating Expenditures: $7,508,980 n Difference of Revenues and Expenditures: -$2,867,370

2007-2008 year-end estimates:

  • Revenues: $89,038,641
  • Operating Expenditures: $77,825,164
  • Non-operating Expenditures: $18,158,929 n Difference of Revenues and Expenditures: -$6,945,452



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