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Manteca OKs budget thats in balance
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Manteca’s City Council Tuesday did something the California Legislature has failed to do for years - deliver a balanced budget on time without any borrowing or any new general taxes.

The adoption of the overall spending plan of $103,250,451 includes a general fund budget of $29,600,553 balanced by using $3,700,323 of the reserve fund that consists of money squirreled away against “rainy days” and unexpected expenditures. The balance of the budget consists of funds that can’t be used for day-to-day municipal operations such as police, fire, parks and streets including the redevelopment agency and enterprise accounts such as sewer, water, and garbage collection.

City Manager Steve Pinkerton noted that by “acting well ahead of neighboring communities” Manteca is basically avoiding severe layoffs and service cutbacks that other valley cities are now experiencing.

Manteca for the fiscal year starting July 1 has no further cutbacks in services planned to balance the budget and needed only one layoff.

Mayor Willie Weatherford credited current city leadership and previous councils for putting in place strategies that have netted Manteca retail and job growth over the years as well as a steady market for new homes.

“With cities around us dropping 10 to 14 percent in (sales tax) revenue  to be even is to say something,” Weatherford said in reference to conservative staff projections that Manteca’s sales tax and property tax will be flat in the coming months.

Sixty percent of all new home sales in San Joaquin County - 308 to be exact - took place last year in Manteca.

The general fund still has a structured $3,495,928 deficit that relates primarily to contracted labor costs above and beyond projected annual revenue in coming years. Remaining reserves could pay that down but then the city would literally be teetering on the edge with essentially no financial cushion.
The structured deficit originally started two years ago at over $14 million.

Possible pitfalls are additional state raids on local revenue including taking away gas tax receipts that are levied for local roads in order to balance California’s budget for the fiscal year that started July 1. The state has a $19 billion deficit and growing.

Manteca has been able to whittle away from the structure deficit by employee pay and contract concessions, non-paid furloughs, reducing the workforce by 25 percent, and rethinking how the city delivers municipal services.