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Property, sales taxes are ‘the ticket’ to pay for city services

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POSTED July 2, 2014 12:29 a.m.

Here’s some bad news for folks who believe Manteca Police write traffic tickets to shore up the general fund to underwrite city services.

The city expects to receive $110,000 as its share of fines — about a tenth of the overall fines from citations issued — in the fiscal year that started Tuesday. The rest goes to the county, state, and courts. The fines represent 0.3 percent of the $30.1 million general fund spending plan the City Council has adopted for the 2014-15 fiscal year. And the city expects to receive $3,000 less from traffic fines than they did in the fiscal year that ended June 30.

The city’s share of traffic tickets isn’t enough to cover the salary, benefits and compensation insurance for one entry level police officer.

The biggest source of revenue for the city is $10.3 million in property taxes, up a projected 2 percent from the 2013-14 fiscal year. And just like with traffic ticket fines, the city only receives a portion of the property taxes collected.

Property taxes peaked at $11 million in 2009 before starting a five-year decline due to the housing market collapse. The fact Manteca added an average of 300 new housing units a year while neighboring cities added only a handful to the assessment rolls was part of the reason why Manteca’s property taxes didn’t drop as sharply as elsewhere in the Northern San Joaquin Valley.

The next biggest source of income for the general fund is literally a bunch of pennies — 7.4 billion to be exact. That’s because one cent of every 8.5 cents in sales tax per dollar you pay within the city limits for taxable goods goes to the city’s general fund. A half cent of that goes to fund police and fire personnel through the Measure M tax and another half cent funds roads and transportation projects within San Joaquin County through the Measure K tax. The remaining 6.5 cents or $44.4 million consumers are expected to pay in sales taxes from now until June 30, 2015 in Manteca stores and restaurants will go to the State of California.

Sales tax receipts are expected to be up 4 percent this year to $7.4 million. It would mark the fifth straight year taxable sales have increased within the city limits.

More visitors are expected to stay in Manteca’s motels and hotels over the next 12 months. Room taxes assessed at 9 percent of the cost of a room are anticipated to generate $685,000. That’s up 5 percent from last year and 36 percent from three years ago.

The biggest reason why hotel rooms are rented in Manteca according to hotel operators: Tournament play at the Big League Dreams sports complex followed by tourists primarily coming to or from Yosemite National Park.

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