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Lathrop: Strong tax base helps services keep pace with growth
telsa battery
Tesla broke ground on a new manufacturing facility in Lathrop – which will be housed in an old J.C. Penney distribution center. Shown with Tesla officials are, on the left, City Manager Steve Salvatore and Councilman Paul Akinjo with Mayor Sonny Dhaliwal on the right.

In the last five years, Lathrop has grown by nearly 25 percent.

And while most people expected the COVID-19 pandemic to slow down businesses across the country, the City of Lathrop processed five years’ worth of building permits during just a two-year span – helping position Lathrop as the 3rd fastest growing city in the entire state of California.

Those are just a few of the takeaways from the City of Lathrop’s biennial midyear budget report that will be presented to the Lathrop City Council when meet on Monday, March 14, at Lathrop City Hall – located at 390 Towne Centre Drive – at 7 p.m.

The other key takeaway? The City of Lathrop needs more staff to keep with the demand that the growth explosion is creating.

“The City’s tax base and development activity have become solid indicators that Lathrop needs additional staffing to be able to continue to deliver the high level of service the community has come to expect from City Hall,” the city wrote in a staff report prepared for the council. “In addition, the City has several employees in key positions ready for retirement.

“In order for the City to ensure they have qualified and experienced staff in place, the mid-year includes several reclassifications and new positions.”

Lathrop has a 2 percent local sales tax rate while the basic rate is 1 percent for California cities. Manteca has a 1½  percent local tax rate with the half cent dedicated to  augmenting frontline police and fire staffing.

Among the positions that the city is requesting funding for include a permit technician to replace the contracted position the city has been utilizing, two assistant engineers to replace a contracted assistant engineer, and a senior civil engineer – all Public Works positions that will help the processing of development projects as they come through City Hall.

The retirement of a land development manager will save the city $205,000 annually, and the retirement of the deputy director of parks, recreation, and maintenance will save the city $209,000 annually – helping to offset the cost of the new staff that are being proposed to the council.

The city is also requesting funding for several positions in parks, recreation, and maintenance services, as well as a senior planner, a director of information systems, an animal control assistant, and a crime and intelligence analyst for the new Lathrop Police Department.

And even with the staff additions, Lathrop believes that the $8.1 million in general fund reserves that were in place at the beginning of the fiscal year will remain fully intact at the end of the current fiscal year – representing a more than $23 million swing from the approximately $15 million deficit the city was facing during the housing crash that resulted in significant staff cutbacks.

The Lathrop City Council meets on the second Monday of every month at Lathrop City Hall – located at 390 Towne Centre Drive – at 7 p.m. For additional information, or to obtain a copy of the agenda, visit the City of Lathrop’s website at

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.