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6th straight balanced budget; mayor drops his push for $50,000+ bronze family statue project

Manteca — for the sixth consecutive year — has adopted a balanced budget.

The $45.4 million general fund spending plan that goes into effect on July 1 to run day-to-day municipal services such as police, fire and general government reflects expenditures from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 that will not exceed revenue collected during that time period. There is $20.7 million in reserves.

Prior to the 2015-2016 budget Manteca went 13 years with deficit spending that is referred to as structured deficits where expenses on an annual basis exceeded revenue. Some years it was several hundred thousands of dollars, other years it was in the millions. Manteca was able to avoid completely cannibalizing the general fund reserves and to keep them at a reasonable level by tapping into $11.9 million in bonus bucks that had no strings attached into how they were spent that were paid by developers for sewer allocation certainty. They also tapped into $1.4 million from a 1 percent tax that had been collected on building permits.

The overall budget — when enterprise accounts such as sewer, water, and solid waste that are covered by ratepayer charges as well as special accounts including capital improvement projects are added — comes to $180.4 million.

Prior to the budget’s adoption on Tuesday, Mayor Ben Cantu asked that a bronze statue of a family for part of a high profile welcome sign he envisioned to the city on Yosemite Avenue at Highway 99 be eliminated from mid-year budget considerations if there is more money generated than expected. Cantu expected the project to cost between $50,000 and $60,000.

“Please take it out,” Cantu said of the statue feature. “I have not been beaten up so much in my life.”

The budget also keeps funding for Sunday library hours intact.

Among the items that are on the table for consideration at mid-year if money is available are traffic signals at Atherton Drive and Airport Way, a city public information officer, city attorney legal consolidation, staffing and apparatus for the new fire station being built at Woodward Atherton Drive, and creating a stand-alone economic development department.

After years of trying to deflect criticism from residents that they aren’t getting what they expect from the property taxes they pay, the city final included an easy-to-understand pie chart in the budget that shows of every $100 a Manteca homeowner pays in property taxes the city receives $9.73, Manteca Unified School District $54.06, San Joaquin County $18.73, and special districts $17.48.

If your home has an assessed value, which is not the market value, of $300,000 your basic property rate exclusive of bond payments is 1 percent or $3,000. From that the city would receive $281.90.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email