Sonoma shows balanced budget

Posted on July 3, 2013 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Projecting revenues from a rebounding local economy, the Sonoma City Council passed a $14.1 million budget for the fiscal year that began July1.

Most of the increase over last year’s $12.9 million figure is slated for street repairs and improvement projects. Additionally, the Police Department budget was increased by about $300,000, to $4.2 million.

The overall budget meets the council’s goal of funding capital improvement projects, restoring staff to previous levels, and maintaining service levels, according to City Manager Carol Giovanatto.

General Fund revenues are expected to increase by $1.1 million this year, or about eight percent, stated Giovanatto. The Transient Occupancy Tax (on hotel rooms) is pegged at a 15 percent increase, while the city expects a seven percent increase in sales tax revenue and a one percent gain in property tax.

Revenue from Measure J, the half-cent city sales tax that was in effect for about half of last year, will likely be 19 percent above original estimates, according to Giovanatto.

Reflecting the document’s upbeat outlook, the council unanimously approved the budget with minimal discussion.