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Goleta Closes Fiscal Year Budget in the Black

Preliminary figures show revenues coming in higher and expenditures coming in lower than projections

The City of Goleta closed out fiscal year 2009-10 barely in the black, according to Finance Director Tina Rivera.

While the city had to make major adjustments to its budget to adapt to the tough economy, the preliminary results indicate that revenues came in just above the revised budget projections and expenditures came in just under.

“For the most part, we were right on the revised projections,” Rivera said.

The numbers have not yet been audited, but it seems General Fund revenues exceeded projections by $102,886, for a total of about $13.4 million. Additionally, according to the staff report, all city departments have come in at or under their budgetary allocations, leaving the city with about $544,000 to carry the funds forward for ongoing projects that have not yet been completed.

Among the revenue sources for the city’s General Fund, the majority exceeded their expectations, including sales tax, transient occupancy tax and franchise fee taxes. Meanwhile, while property taxes came in just under projection, Goleta’s property tax revenues rose about 1.7 percent from the previous year.

While the revenues have exceeded projections, most of the amounts are actually declines, ranging from 1.3 percent to 90 percent decreases from the previous year’s numbers. The expiration of state subventions resulted in the 90 percent decline of vehicle in-lieu revenue, for instance, while lower interest earnings resulted in a 52.7 percent decline in that fund source. The council made an overall reduction of about $900,000 in its revisions to the fiscal year 2009-10 budget.

While the departments came in well within their allocations, the surplus is going to cover a few one-time adjustments in legal costs, planning, building safety and street lighting.

Other unresolved funding matters also may affect the city’s wallet, including a debt of $859,183 in insurance liability to the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority and costs for an ongoing facilities maintenance and repair.

The Measure A Maintenance of Effort — a baseline assessment of the minimum the city needs to spend to qualify for Measure A transportation improvement funds — is being adjusted because the initial baseline figures were taken from years before the Great Recession, which positively will impact the city’s coffers, while the need for permit tracking technology may become another expense.

Noozhawk staff writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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