The Santa Clarita City Council reviewed and approved the 2022 fiscal year budget on Wednesday, setting the city up to provide services and new infrastructure projects for the future.
The $299.3 million balanced budget follows a number of the city’s priorities, and reflects a 21% increase from the 2021-22 budget.
The large increase in the budget can, in part, be attributed to sales tax revenue that is scheduled to increase by 18.5% from the current budget, adding $46.2 million in annual revenue to the city’s $133 million general fund.
“Several factors are considered to ensure accuracy in our projections, including the state of the economy, historical trends, population projections/growth, and inflation. With this information, the city can best determine the revenue available for allocation,” city staff have said in the past meeting agendas. “For Fiscal Year 2022-2023, total revenue meets total expenditure appropriations.”
In past meetings, the city outlined that the budget would be spent on the city’s various priorities, from community building and engagement, to economic vitality to public safety.
For public safety, the city’s largest expenditure category for the general fund budget — making up 23% of the $132.7 million general fund — includes new suggestions from city staff such as $800,000 for a city mobile command unit, a $417,370 cost-of-living adjustment for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department contract, $93,000 for security camera replacements, $70,000 for speed cushions on Santa Catarina Road and $57,000 in cybersecurity initiatives.
The city’s operating reserve will total $19.8 million, according to the agenda, and $84.7 million will go to the capital improvement program, or CIP.
Through COVID-19 funds, federal money and grants, the city’s CIP will spend tens of millions of dollars to improve “prioritized projects,” such as parks, buildings, paseos, trails and street enhancements that improve the quality of life for residents.
The largest new CIP expenditures include $4.7 million for design work on the Santa Clarita Sports Complex, $4.5 million for the design of Via Princessa Park and $3.5 million for the Haskell Canyon Blue Cloud Bike Park.
The new budget is set to come into effect on Friday.