City Appraised of Revenue Decline
• Official Stresses that This Is Not a Municipal Deficit
BY BILL KOENEKER
BY BILL KOENEKER
The Malibu City Council’s Administrative and Finance Subcommittee learned last week that the city is expected to take in $1.2 million less than was expected for the adopted budget for fiscal year 2008-2009. General fund expenses have been cut to reflect that change.
The revelation came when city Administrative Services Director Reva Feldman unveiled the proposed budget for 2009-2010 totaling $36.5 million at a subcommittee meeting last Tuesday.
“It is not a deficit, it is not a shortfall,” said Feldman. “We are going to spend less now that we know we are getting less.”
The top finance officer for the city indicated spending cuts would come from reducing personnel, hiring less contract employees and reducing general fund grants, among other cutbacks.
Shifting back to the proposed budget, Feldman indicated after transfers of $3.4 million to capital improvements projects, the projected general fund reserve at the end of June 30, 2010 would be $13.3 million.
The administrative services director noted that new funding sources will kick in for next fiscal year’s budget, including what is called Measure R funding from the federal stimulus package, which should add up to $511,411.
About $500,000 will be used for the annual street overlay program. Future year funding should then amount to approximately $120,000 yearly, according to Feldman.
Unlike most cities, Malibu is still getting more in property taxes with a projected increase of three percent, but that is still down from previous years when the increase was five to six percent.
Another hit in revenues, according to Feldman, is fewer dollars from licenses, permits and service charges. A decline is projected from building permits and related fees, planning permits as well as fees from recreation classes.
At the same time, there are anticipated spending increases for FY 2009-2010, including another $169,000 increase for law enforcement. The contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has climbed to a $5.8 million price tag for Malibu.
Other increases include the $11,411 for crossing guard services each year to the high school, $50,000 for tree maintenance, and numerous other items.
Feldman said proposals that have been cut out from the proposed budget for the next fiscal year—unless the projected revenue stream increases—includes $350,000 for new software for the planning department, $20,000 for new ledger software and $35,000 for an additional sheriff’s deputy.
The proposed budget for the next fiscal year provides for 77 full-time equivalent employees. Three positions will be eliminated for a savings of $300,000 for FY 2009-2010.
Feldman is recommending a two percent CPI increase for next year’s budget, though the percentage change was zero.
The capital improvements budget for 2009-2010 is $13 million and comes from special funding sources.