City anticipates revenue increase in next year’s budget

Santa Clarita City Hall, as pictured on February, 26, 2020, is located on the 23900 block of Valencia Blvd. Dan Watson/The Signal
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City Manager Ken Striplin reported Monday on the draft budget for the upcoming fiscal year, delivering his report to the Santa Clarita City Council Budget Committee, which consists of Mayor Bill Miranda and Mayor Pro Tem Laurene Weste. 

The total city budget is estimated at $240.2 million, representing a 13% increase over the current fiscal year. That total includes the city’s general fund, which Striplin said is projected at approximately $120 million, or a 9% increase in revenue. 

The city is also projecting a 22% increase in sales tax revenue, 4% increase in property tax revenue, 8% increase in development revenues and a small increase in revenues from parks and recreation fees. Meanwhile, revenue from franchise fees and the city’s hotel tax are expected to remain flat. 

Striplin said the city expects a “healthy” operating reserve of 20% and that the city is proactively addressing its pension obligations. 

This year, the city has budgeted a $1.5 million contribution toward employee pensions, which Striplin said would help to “stabilize” and “create predictability” with the city’s obligations. Striplin said that the city may reach its 10-year goal of funding its employees’ pensions at 90% in less than five years. 

The Santa Clarita 2025 plan, a five-year vision document for the city, outlines the quality-of-life priorities that guide the city staff in its budget preparations. Striplin reviewed highlights from this plan during his presentation to the committee. 

The City Council and Santa Clarita Planning Commission are scheduled to hold a joint budget study session Tuesday, May 4. Information about the public meeting will be published on the city’s website.  

The 2021-22 fiscal year starts on July 1, 2021. Draft budget documents had not been published at the time of this story.  

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