City economy, revenue up

By From page A1 | March 06, 2013

“This report is going to answer two questions:  How are we doing and is the city living within its means?,” said Dave Warren, Placerville finance director. At the Feb.26 Placerville City Council meeting, Warren presented the Mid-Year Budget Report for Fiscal Year 2012-2013.

The answers are: heading in the right direction and yes.

While city unemployment rates remain high, higher at 13.9 percent  than Sacramento, El Dorado County or the state of California, which are in the 9 percent range, they demonstrated a downward trend from a high of 17.2 percent in March 2012.

Another part of the city’s economic environment is real estate sales. Eight out of 12 months in 2012  posted the highest number of real estate sales since 2008.

City sales tax revenues account for 51 per cent of the total General Fund revenue and they are on the increase.The state Board of Equalization forecasts the city’s sales tax receipts to be $273,737 more than 2011-2012 and $238,650 above budget.

“Placerville has had two consecutive years of growth, with the quarter ending in September showing growth of 16.88 per cent,” said Warren.

While actual fourth quarter sales tax results will not be available until March, Placerville’s sales tax receipt growth compares favorably with neighboring cities — higher than all Amador County cities, Sacramento, Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, and Roseville.

City revenues from building permits, plan checks and Gold Bug Park is also up significantly, although there is a slight decrease in attendance revenue from the Aquatic Center and a 10 per cent decrease from Recreation and Parks’ special interest classes and camps.

The city’s total operating budget, which includes all funds such as Measure H,Measure J, the Water Enterprise Fund, Sewer Enterprise Fund and the General Fund, shows $15.7 million in revenues and $15.3 million in expenditures which leaves $440,353 in surplus funds. Forecasted budget revenues are $16,159, 476  with $15,235,531 in forecasted expenditures, leaving a forecastedof just under $924,000 in surplus revenue which will be set aside for capital projects and reserves.

“Part of the surplus was planned as we have a State Revolving Fund payment of $1.5 million coming up in September, ” said Warren.

Funds in which expenditures overtop revenues are the Measure J fund, due to retirement cash-outs and overtime, the Parking District Fund, due to preventative maintenance costs, repairs and replacement of equipment, the reserve for Economic Uncertainties and the General Liability Fund.

“The General Liability Fund is an internal service fund that provides service to other funds,” explained Warren. “This has not been a good year for general liability claims — we had a settlement with the Friends of Historical Hangtown and some sewer backup claims.”

“We’re not riding high, but we’re doing OK, ” summed up Mayor Wendy Mattson.

Wendy Schultz

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