City adopts $77 million balanced budget
On Tuesday, June 12, the San Marcos City Council passed and adopted a $77 million general fund budget for the Fiscal Year 2018-19, 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 with a goal of making 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 goal is to be transparent with our residents by presenting a financial plan that guides decisions and establishes control over costs while directing where each dollar goes,” said Finance Director Laura Rocha. “As stewards of the public dollar, the City of San Marcos is committed to honest, open and transparent public service.”
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 and continues to address the on-going challenges of rising pension costs, law enforcement services, and costs to critical public services.
With a steady economy and positive national, statewide and regional economic indicators, the city has benefited from moderate revenue increases and projects nearly a 4.8 percent growth in revenue compared to last year.
Sales and property tax account for 51 percent of general fund revenues. Sales tax for the next fiscal year is expected to reach $17.6 million, a 5.7 percent change from prior year’s original budget and county-assessed property tax growth is estimated at 6.7 percent.
San Marcos has also benefited from its tax alternative revenue streams like rental income to keep the city moving through economic ups and downs. The city owns land and property like San Marcos Town Center and Creekside Marketplace, to name a few, which spin off several million dollars each year in non-tax revenue.
“San Marcos is positioned well, is addressing emerging challenges head-on and has maintained a steady fiscal approach capable of weathering the ebbs and flows of the larger economy,” said City Manager Jack Griffin.
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.
The new budget sets aside more than $2.9 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.
“With a strong financial outlook, the 2018-19 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 www.san-marcos.net/finance or contact the city’s Finance Department at (760) 744-1050, ext. 3126.