As Grass Valley and Nevada City move into the next fiscal year, each town’s municipal budget is looking more flush this year, thanks to voter-approved tax measures.
The city councils for both towns approved the 2013-14 fiscal year budgets this week.
In Grass Valley, Measure N, which an overwhelming majority of voters approved to move the town’s sales tax up a half of a percent to 8.125 percent, is expected to bring in nearly $1.8 million during its first year, according to Finance Director Roberta Raper’s Tuesday presentation.
While the added sales tax revenues are technically allocated to the city’s $10.2 million general fund, Grass Valley officials keep the funds segregated, as proposed prior to the election.
Taking effect in April, Measure N brought in about $433,000 before the start of the next fiscal year, of which only $65,000 was allocated. For the coming fiscal year, Grass Valley projects Measure N will bring in $1,735,000, and the city plans to spend $1,775,117. The $40,000 overage of that expenditure will be counteracted by the more than $368,000 left from fiscal year 2012-13.
Measure N represents about 6 percent of the city’s overall $27.7 million of anticipated revenue, the largest source being the general fund, which represents 37 percent of the city’s overall income. The city’s $10.3 million enterprise fund is the next largest source, representing 30 percent of the city’s revenue.
In the end, the city expects to expend $28.4 million, according to Raper’s report.
“We should use this as the guideline and framework for how we are going to move ahead for next year and as the year progresses, modify it,” said Councilman Howard Levine Tuesday. “But we have to wait and see how revenues come in.”
Wednesday night, Nevada City approved its budget, which Finance Director Catrina Olson noted hadn’t changed much since a May budget workshop.
In total, Nevada City is predicting General Fund revenues of $3.18 million and is proposing $3.88 million in expenditures, Olson noted in her report. However, Olson was quick to point out other sources of revenue, including the city’s sales taxes and other funding streams, that add up to a total of $821,000.
One of those sources is Measure L, Nevada City’s sales tax approved in the November 2012 election by a vast majority of voters. It increased the city’s sales tax by 3/8 of a cent, up to 8.5 percent. Measure L is expected to bring in approximately $390,000, also kept in a separate fund.
The final budget reflects a favorable General Fund revenue projection in the excess of expenditures of $119,076 for fiscal year 2013-14, said Nevada City Manager David Brennan in a report introducing the budget.
Brennan went on to note that the next year’s projected $136,124 general fund balance is the first substantial positive balance in a number of years, “a strong indicator of reaching a sustainable operations budget.”
He added, “While the level of services may not be to the highest desirable level, all basic city services are being completely supported by the general fund without relying on interfund borrowing.”
However, not all the news was good Wednesday, as Olson pointed to looming cost increases by the state’s employee pension program.
“A point of fiscal concern is the future sharp rise of Calpers” coming in 2015-16, Olson said.
To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 477-4236.