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Manteca folks hungry to spend again
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Manteca consumers have gotten their appetite back.

They spent $21,721,000 at the 157 businesses serving food and/or drinks in Manteca during the third quarter of 2012. That’s up 12 percent from the previous year and 26 percent from the bottom of the recession in 2007 in comparing consumer spending habits during  the months of July, August, and September.

While the third quarter of 2012 is the most recent complete taxing period where the Board of Equalization has squared its accounts of everything the state owes in local sales taxes to cities, preliminary reports show consumer spending is up across the board in all categories in Manteca from  clothing stores and general merchandise ventures to building materials from 2012 to 2013.

City of Manteca Finance Director Susan Mallory noted preliminary figures show Manteca’s overall sales tax receipts jumped almost 10 percent from 2012 to 2013. Projections call for a four percent jump in 2014. That is reflected in the anticipation that the city will collect $7,091,000 in general sales tax during the current fiscal year. That reflects a private sector economy generating just over $700 million in annual sales.

“The projection is conservative,” Mallory noted.

The city prefers to underestimate revenues so they aren’t caught short on the income side when they are balancing the budget.

That coupled with a forecast that property taxes will rise 9 percent means there is a good chance the city won’t have a structured deficit in the 2014-15 fiscal year.

A structured deficit is when the city doesn’t have enough revenue generated from July 1 to June 30 to cover expenses such as debt payment, pension costs, payroll, benefits, and day-to-day operations within the same fiscal year.

The current budget has a structured deficit of just under $150,000. The city isn’t in the hole per se financially as they are tapping reserves to cover the shortfall.

And while rebounding sales and property taxes make the outlook promising, Mallory noted there are several wild cards in the budget deck especially what the annual pension payment will cost the city.  That changes yearly based on the rate of return that the California Public Employees Retirement System. projects on its investments.