Saturday, April 26, 2008
Encinitas, Economic Oasis?
Adam Kaye is no longer reporting for the North County Times and is now covering Encinitas for the San Diego Union Tribune,
Read the article online: City budget not affected by economy
On Wednesday, the City Council took its first look at a draft $53.5 million operating budget for the next fiscal year that shows $2 million less in revenue than initially projected but hefty reserves and no cuts in jobs, programs or services.
Property tax is the city's No. 1 revenue source, but in contrast to the flagging real estate market elsewhere, Encinitas anticipates a 2.9 percent increase in property tax revenue for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
In Encinitas, foreclosures are low and property is holding its value, though home sales have dropped dramatically, Smith said.
In the 92024 ZIP code of Encinitas, home resale prices in the first quarter of 2008 rose by nearly 7 percent over the first quarter of 2007, according to statistics released last week by DataQuick Information Systems. The number of home resales dropped from 111 to 73 for the same period.
Encinitas was one of three ZIP codes in the county where resale prices rose between Jan. 1 and March 31 of this year and last.
A belt-tightening exercise throughout City Hall has trimmed $605,000 from the budget, finance manager Darlene Hill said.
The exercise included some personnel shuffling, resulting in a slight cut in hours for one full-time employee. That would bring the number of full-time positions to 240.6.
The budget shows an increase of $203,252, or 0.4 percent, in revenue from fiscal 2007-08. The increase, however, falls far short of the $2 million budget increase projected one year ago.
Less-than-expected revenue would stem in part from $1 million less in projected sales tax and receipts, which the fiscal 2008-09 budget estimates at $8.2 million.
Income from permits, inspections and plan checks is expected to decline by $539,000, or 10 percent, reflecting a slowdown in construction.
On the other side of the ledger, revenue from red-light cameras, fines, fees and other penalties is budgeted to increase by $60,000, to $878,200, which officials attribute to an increase in parking citations.
See also, Encinitas Taxpayers Association Blog
*The total budget for the city of Encinitas is $53.5 million dollars which is what the CEO of Goldman Sachs received as a bonus in 2006. source