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.