City officials are considering various tax and fee increases to cover an expected shortage in revenue in the next fiscal year.
Ways of increasing city revenues discussed by the City Council this week included implementing a utility users tax, creating assessment districts, imposing parking taxes and increasing business license fees. Speaking to a joint session of the council, the Traffic Safety Committee, the Planning Commission and the Parks and Recreation Committee, City Manager Donald Guluzzy expressed concern over the city's practice of balancing its operating budget with general funds.
"We can't go on forever drawing on the general fund account," he said.
In the current fiscal year, the city's $5.94-million budget was $550,000 more than the city took in, he said, but the city was able to balance the budget by drawing from "a little savings account we built over our 11-year history, some prior to Proposition 13."
The account's current balance is $1.75 million, $400,000 of which is earmarked for specific uses. "We just don't collect enough to meet our expenditures for services," Guluzzy told the group. "The gap keeps getting wider and wider."
Only 15% of the operating budget is discretionary, Guluzzy said. The remainder pays for services such as police protection, which last year cost $1.3 million, and public works, which cost $2 million. Other fixed costs include expenditures for leisure, environmental, administrative and legal services and the city clerk, the city manager and City Council.
The city faces increasing costs for pavement renovation and maintenance, having deferred some road projects since 1981, according to Charles Abbott Jr., public works supervisor.
Operating and capital budget proposals for fiscal years 1985-86 and 1986-87 will be presented to the City Council early in June, Guluzzy said.