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City adopts $69 million balanced budget

Post Date:06/15/2016 6:45 AM

On June 14, the San Marcos City Council passed and adopted a $69.3 million general fund budget for Fiscal Year 2016-17, which begins July 1. The general fund pays for important services such as fire protection, law enforcement, street and park maintenance, recreation services, land use planning and general administration.

“A solid foundation exists for providing quality services while still preparing for the future of San Marcos,” said City Manager Jack Griffin. “Through streamlined processes, new work procedures and better use of technology, we have been able to maintain critical programs and carry out important infrastructure projects.”

The City strives to improve the budget document each year to make it easier for individuals unfamiliar with the government budgeting processes to understand. The budget document includes revenue and expenditure summaries for each department, along with the recommended requests by departments and the City Manager. The document also summarizes each department function, outlines how the budget supports the City’s strategic goals and includes information on non-general fund spending.

“As stewards of the public dollar, the City is committed to continually improving transparency and accountability,” said Finance Director Laura Rocha. “The goal is to make it easier to learn about the City’s budget, programs and services while presenting a more accurate depiction of costs and where each dollar is being spent.”

Overall, the City’s finances remain steady and the budget for the new fiscal year supports the policy to maintain unassigned fund balance reserve at a minimum of 40 percent of General Fund operating budgeted expenditures.

Despite the mixed pace of economic recovery, the City has benefited from moderate revenue increases. Sales and property tax account for 50 percent of general fund revenues. Sales tax remains flat for this fiscal year and property tax growth is estimated at 5.5 percent. Overall, the City is projecting a 3.6% growth in revenue over the FY 2015-16 original budget.

“As national economic activity remains slow and fiscal challenges continue for all levels of government, San Marcos is positioned well and has maintained a slow and steady fiscal approach moving forward,” said City Manager Jack Griffin.

The new budget set aside 3.1 percent – more than $2 million—of the General Fund for long-range maintenance of City buildings, roads and sidewalks, lighting and storm drains, parks and landscaping, and equipment and vehicle replacement. As San Marcos continues to grow towards build out, it becomes increasingly important to maintain existing infrastructure.

“The 2016-17 budget exemplifies City Council’s commitment to invest in the future of San Marcos,” commented Griffin. “By making small investments over time and supporting long term financial planning, the City is taking steps to control future costs.”

The budget set-aside will help the City address the accumulated maintenance project backlog, reduce long-term costs and improve the quality of life in San Marcos.

Click here to view approved budget documents (June 14, 2016 City Council Agenda Item No. 15.)

For more information, please contact the city’s Finance Department at (760) 744-1050, ext. 3126. 

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