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City adopts balanced Fiscal Year 2017-18 budget

Post Date:07/11/2017 2:13 PM

San Marcos, CA— On June 13, the San Marcos City Council passed and adopted a $73.5 million general fund budget for Fiscal Year 2017-18, 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.

“The city’s approved budget protects and furthers the progress that the City of San Marcos has made to create a better quality of life for residents while protecting city investments and providing high quality services throughout the city,” said Mayor Jim Desmond.  “This is a balanced plan with a conservative outlook that keeps the focus on core community services such as public safety, road repair and parks.”

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 of San Marcos 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.”

San Marcos is committed to fiscal stability and strong financial oversight.  This budget maintains the city’s investment in public safety, infrastructure, and high quality customer service along with pronounced levels of accountability and transparency.

The city is projecting modestly improving revenues, however, that growth is being outpaced by the on-going challenges of rising pension costs, law enforcement services, and costs to critical public services.

Despite the mixed pace of economic recovery, the city has benefited from moderate revenue increases and projects nearly a 6 percent growth in revenue compared to last year. Sales and property tax account for 51 percent of general fund revenues. Sales tax remains flat for this fiscal year and property tax growth is estimated at 4.3 percent.

Overall, San Marcos finances remain steady and the budget for the new fiscal year supports the policy to maintain a reserve of 40 percent of General Fund operating budgeted expenditures.

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

The new budget set aside 3.6 percent – more than $2.4 million—of the General Fund for long-range replacement and rehabilitation 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 2017-18 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.”

To learn more about the city’s budget, visit or contact the city’s Finance Department at (760) 744-1050, ext. 3126. 

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