Sonoma budget in good shape

So far, so good. Midway through the fiscal year, Sonoma is on track to meet its $11.5 million budget.

“The city continues to remain solvent in all major funds,” Carol Giovanatto, assistant city manager and treasurer, told the city council. “This position will continue throughout this fiscal year with respect to budgeted expenditures.”

Revenues from property tax are transient occupancy (hotel room) tax are above last year’s figures, as is, just barely, the sales tax.

Overall, expenditures exceeded revenue by just $21,486 for the June-Dec. period.
Unlike previous years, the numbers don’t demand budget cuts or fiscal maneuvering. “No budget amendments are required at midyear,” Giovanatto said.

Overall, revenues received and expenditures are at both at 44 percent of budget, she said, still well below the 50 percent timeframe.

With a few exceptions, city departments were all below the 50 percent expenditure level at midyear. Total General Fund expenditures through Dec. 31, 2010 were $5,059,954, or 44 percent of the total General Fund Expenditure Budget.

The figures compare to the last year’s midpoint number of $5,307,771, which was 46 percent of budget.
While the city projected most revenue sources to remain flat, there are some signs numbers may improve from last year. Statewide, sales tax numbers were up 5.1 percent in the first half of the year. Sonoma’s portion, which it has yet to receive, will reflect that gain.

The TOT number reflects a positive position for the tourist industry, Giovanatto said.
But while building-related revenue showed a nine percent gain, the Business License Tax was 11 percent lower than last year. “This had been anticipated as a result of the decline in the economy,” Giovanatto said, and projections were lowered accordingly. “The city has experienced a number of non-renewals from contractors and developers.”


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