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Manteca spending 50% of limit
City tax levels easily within maximum set by Gann Initiative
Manteca collects almost exactly half of the maximum in taxes it legally can in any given year under voter mandated limits. - photo by Bulletin file photo

Manteca could - assuming they could get voters to approve additional taxes and/or have property tax growth that was almost exclusively commercial and industry - legally spend up to $50.3 million this fiscal year.

That’s the amount allowed under the Gann Limit passed by voters as Proposition 4 in the November 1979 election.

Manteca will end up spending $25.3 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013 or almost exactly have of the maximum they could legally spend.

The initiative is named after Paul Gann who – along with Howard Jarvis – led the property tax revolt that gave California Proposition 13 just 18 months prior. The constitutional amendment linked the growth of appropriations that local and state governments could spend limiting changes to increases in the cost of living index and percent increases plus a jurisdiction’s population growth. Anything collected above that limit has to be returned to taxpayers.

Manteca’s spending level gives it high marks based on the goals of taxpayer advocates 34 years ago who substantially altered the course of how California taxed people and property for government purposes.

The Gann Limit last fiscal year for Manteca was $47.4 million while proceeds from taxes - the revenue that is subject to the wording of Proposition 4 - was $24.8 million. Due to population growth and the cost of living index Manteca’s Gann Limit for appropriations jumped $2.9 million this fiscal year for a 6.1 percent increase while actual tax revenue went up $200,000 or less than 1 percent.

The Gann Limit will be officially set during Tuesday’s 7 p. m. Manteca City Council meeting at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

The 10 biggest sources of appropriations this fiscal year for Manteca in descending order are property tax, $8,423,880; sales and use taxes, $8,698,750; public safety sales tax, $4,280,110; landscape maintenance districts, $736,705; business license tax, $545,000; electric franchise tax, $510,000; motel room tax, $450,000; excise tax, $300,000; documentary stamp tax,$175,000; and natural gas franchise tax, $110,000.

 Manteca collected $79.7 million in other revenue on everything from users’ fees for sewer, water and garbage service to growth fees. That also includes revenue from other agencies such as the state and federal governments, fines and forfeitures, licenses and permits such as $645,000 for cable franchise fees and $225,520 for animal licenses, and charges for services.