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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Report Forecasts Steady Growth for City’s Budget

• Property Tax Revenue Projected to Increase by $325,000


The Malibu City Council is expected to have its first look-see at the proposed 2013-14 fiscal year budget at its meeting next week.
“City staff is pleased to present a balanced preliminary budget for fiscal year 2013-2014. This amount includes general fund revenues of $21.9 million and general fund expenditures of $21.88 million,” wrote Assistant City Manager Reva Feldman in a staff report.
Feldman added another plus is the projected undesignated general fund by June 30, 2014 is expected to be $12 million. She added, “This amount exceeds the city's goal of maintaining a minimum of 50 percent of the operating budget.”
The total projected general fund balance (including designated and undesignated reserves) on June 30, 2014 is $14 million, according to Feldman.
“The city continues to experience growth in almost all tax revenue sources,” continued Feldman. Property tax tax revenue is projected to increase $325,000 to $7.2 million from the 2012-13 tax year.
Documentary transfer tax is budgeted to increase $85,000 from the prior fiscal year “as a result of the increase of real estate sales in the past year.”
The city official noted that several new retail and restaurant outlets account for an increase in sale tax revenue with an increase of $225,000 from the 2012-2013 budgeted amount.
Transient occupancy tax, which includes both hotels and short-term residential rentals, is budgeted to increase by $85,000, according to Feldman, from the budgeted amount from the prior fiscal year.
Revenue from licenses and permits is projected to increase a total of $103,000 from the last fiscal year and revenue from service charges is budgeted to increase a total of $186,000.
That amounts is nearly a $1 million increase in revenue from the last fiscal year.
Special revenues total $8.1 million, including $5.7 million of grant funds for capital improvement projects. Gas tax revenue is projected at $405,000. Traffic safety revenue is expected to be $450,000. Proposition A revenue is $200,000 and Prop C revenue is projected at $160,000.
“These projections are consistent with revenue received in these funds in the prior fiscal year,” Feldman noted.
The proposed budget also includes $1.4 million of rental income from three commercial properties and $400,000 of percentage rental income from the Malibu Lumber Yard site for a total of $1.8 million, according to Feldman, who explained the revenue is used for debt service associated with the Legacy Park acquisition, operations and maintenance.
The assistant city manager indicated that in spite of the increase in general fund revenue, she is taking a “conservative [stance] with a continued emphasis on streamlining services in order to reduce costs. Special revenue funds have been budgeted in lieu of general funds where appropriate in an effort to reduce the use of general funds.”
She noted that the overall budget for management services has increased from the previous fiscal year by $142,000 and explained the reasons are $70,000 put aside for the April 2014 election and another $100,000 for document imaging services.
“The city continues to convert files into electronic records. These increases are offset b a $29,000 decrease in the legal counsel budget and a decrease in the city manager's budget,” the municipal official said.
The overall budget for public safety has increased $127,000 prom the prior fiscal year due to a 2.4 percent increase in cost charged by the Los Angeles county sheriff's Department, according to Feldman, who explained the city continues to use what are known as COPS grant funding of $100,000 to supplement law enforcement activities.
The budget for administrative service has increased by $379, 000 due to the $489,000 for debt service for City Hall. “This will be the first year of the full debt service payment amount associated with the acquisition and improvements of the City Hall facility,” noted Feldman. “These increases are offset by a $222,000 decrease in Legacy Park operations and a $24,000 decrease in Finance.”
The parks and recreation budget has decreased $65,000 mostly as a result of the closure of the skate park in 2011.
The budget for the environmental sustainability department has decreased a total of $271,000.
The reasons include a $273,000 reduction in building and safety because of the completion of a permit software project.
The planning department's budget has increased a total of $193,000 due to a $176,000 increase in planning for a contract planner and consulting services to assist with long-range planning projects, code updates and conditional use permits and updates to the Housing Element, according to the assistant city manager.
The public works department has decreased a total of $46,000,
There is a total of $10.8 million of capital expenditures, $5.7 million is being funded from grants, $3.1 million from the Civic Center wastewater treatment facility CFD; $670,000 from special revenue funds and $1.3 million from the general fund capital improvements projects designated reserve fund.

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