News

Menlo Park: Tax revenues, spending exceed budget estimates

 

Property taxes and hotel taxes collected in Menlo Park during the first half of the 2015-16 fiscal year are bringing in more revenue than expected, according to a mid-year financial report presented to the City Council recently by Nick Pegueros, the city's administrative services director.

General fund revenues in the current fiscal year (which ends June 30) are expected to be about $2.1 million higher than was was budgeted at the start of the budget year on July 1, 2015. That 4.5 percent increase results from higher-than expected revenues from property and hotel taxes and charges for services, the report says.

General fund spending is expected to be about $732,000 higher than what was budgeted, or about 1.6 percent more.

Higher anticipated revenue is attributed in part to a $1.29 million increase in projected property tax income, or about 8 percent more than what was budgeted, the report says. That increase, Mr. Pegueros said, was largely due to a refund of excess ERAF funds.

ERAF (Education Revenue Augmentation Fund) is a state-mandated fund that gathers a portion of property tax revenue collected from cities, special districts and the county as a backup in case local property taxes alone are not sufficient to support local schools at a certain level. In San Mateo County, property taxes brought in enough funding for the schools so the excess ERAF funds were distributed back to the cities, Mr. Pegueros said.

The 12 percent tax that hotel guests in Menlo Park pay to the city is expected to bring in about 20 percent more than what was budgeted, mostly due to the new Marriott Residence Inn hotel at 555 Glenwood Ave., Mr. Pegueros said.

At the its March 15 meeting, the council also approved spending $200,000 on the city's storm preparedness program; $320,000 for a "below market rate" housing unit; $85,000 for the police department to expand its K-9 program; and $32,000 for the library's Centennial Celebration.

Comments

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Posted by Dana Hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 14, 2016 at 2:12 pm

A $1.4 Million unexpected surplus over 6 months. What is expected for the final 6 months? What will happen with this unbudgeted money?


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Posted by new guy
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 14, 2016 at 2:43 pm

So does this mean the UUT (user utility tax) can be set to 0% this year!!!

So does this mean the schools who are asking for 2 parcel taxes don't need this money now?


2 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 14, 2016 at 2:47 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"So does this mean the schools who are asking for 2 parcel taxes don't need this money now?"

They didn't need it to begin with.


Like this comment
Posted by Stats
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Apr 14, 2016 at 7:41 pm

"So does this mean the schools who are asking for 2 parcel taxes don't need this money now?"
Menlo Park revenues from property and hotel taxes, and charges for services don't flow to the schools. Individual school districts get a slice of property taxes only. It's fair to assume that the districts have seen an increase too, but whether the revenue increase is above each district's separate budget plan or whether the increase is is sufficient to cover a faster growing enrollment is a separate question.


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Posted by new guy
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 14, 2016 at 9:03 pm

Funny, so proponents admit that revenues are increasing. So why does the door hanger state:

"Menlo Park CIty School District faces increased enrollment numbers, while our revenues decline."

So which way are revenues going again?


4 people like this
Posted by Rebate
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Apr 14, 2016 at 11:47 pm


I have a novel idea, How about a rebate to the tax payers in Menlo Park.

Just because you have it doesn't mean you have to spend it.


Like this comment
Posted by conservative
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 15, 2016 at 8:52 am

There may have been a lot of unnecessary drama around the budget, which is always based on projections. We are fortunate that council and city staff are working with conservative estimates.

Menlo Park council settles on balanced budget: Jun 23, 2015
Basically, the budget will be balanced by moving $1 million in planned spending from the next fiscal year to the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. Web Link

Menlo Park council sends budget back for redo: Jun 17, 2015
The Menlo Park City Council on Tuesday night sent a proposed deficit budget back to the city manager with a request that he make changes so the budget will be in balance with anticipated general fund revenues for the fiscal year starting July 1. Web Link


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