City announces midyear budget changes 

Santa Clarita City Hall
Santa Clarita City Hall

Ahead of the new calendar year, city of Santa Clarita officials announced their adjusted fiscal forecast has improved the city’s bottom line by about $5.3 million. 

Each year, the city announces its spending plan in June for the fiscal year starting July 1 and then adjusts as needed with end-of-the-calendar-year changes. The City Council approved this year’s update on Tuesday at its last meeting before the new year.  

The gross revenue increase was listed as a little over $10.225 million, while the overall increase in expenditures amounted to $4.877 million. 

The plan signed off on figures for $1.45 million more in the general fund, $5 million in the Special Districts funds and $3.2 million in various grant funds, as well as receiving about $450,000 less than anticipated from the state gas tax allocation and Senate Bill 1 funds.  

The adjustments were attributed to: $1.8 million more in development revenues; $400,000 more in property tax revenue; and $844,000 in franchise fees, $200,000 for city revenue from hotel stays “and the addition of the new Hampton Inn hotel, facility rentals for $86,659, and $10,386 transfer in from the developer fee fund for fire admin fees.” 

The slightly more than $5.06 million of revenue in special district funding is largely due to the bridge and thoroughfare, or “developer fees,” coming from the Tesoro Highlands development as well as $50,000 in additional revenue from the new Hampton Inn hotel. 

The revenue projections for The Cube, the ice-skating rink the city operates, also improved by about $344,000. 

Slower-than-anticipated overall economic growth, which was something City Manager Ken Striplin repeatedly cautioned the City Council about during the budget process, as well as several industry strikes, also impacted revenues.  

The budget numbers indicated that filming and animal adoptions were down significantly.  

“(The adjusted budget) also includes decreases of $1.6 million in sales tax revenue due to slower than anticipated growth, $278,300 in film permits and fees as a result of the writers’ and actors’ strikes, and $125,000 in animal licenses,” according to a report prepared by Brittany Houston of the city’s Administrative Services Department. 

About half of the expenditure increases came from the “Various Grants funds” category, which included money that was replaced by state funding secured by Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo, D-Chatsworth.  

The expenditure increase of $2,036,166 includes appropriation of $1.5 million in Assembly Bill 102 funds for the purchase of a specialized mobile command unit, $764,000 for the Orchard Village Road protected Class IV pedestrian and bicycle project, a reduction of $211,540 drug forfeiture funds for the specialized mobile command unit and a $23,432 Proposition C grant reduction for completed Intelligent Traffic Systems Phase VI and ITS Phase VII Design projects, according to the report. 

Schiavo presented a $1.5 million check for the command center to the City Council in October.  

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