King City Council recently adopted the City’s new Biennial Budget for FY 2021-22 / FY 2022-23. The total proposed City budget is $24,087,756 in FY 2021-22 and $18,538,906 in FY 2022-23. Of these amounts, the total proposed General Fund is $8,766,374 in FY 2021-22 and $9,099,482 in FY 2022-23.
All budgets are balanced and make progress toward accomplishing each of the major budget goals/priorities that were approved by the City Council in the first step of the budget process.
The most significant item of this budget is that it is projected to repay the remainder of the negative fund balance in the General Fund. The last time the City had a positive General Fund balance was in 2005. Therefore, this represents a major accomplishment for the City.
The budget includes an extensive list of major projects funded primarily from grants and other funding sources. Major items include increased funding for the annual Street Improvement Program, construction of the Citywide Sidewalk Improvement Project, design and planning for the Multimodal Transportation Center, paving of the taxiway at Mesa Del Rey Airport, replacement of the Lynn Street sewer line, Phase I expansion of corner bulbouts in the downtown area, and installation of solar streetlights on Jayne Street.
A Long-Range Financial Plan included in the budget was also approved as a planning tool. Two scenarios are included. The first scenario projects the costs for existing service levels over the next 10-year period. The results of that analysis demonstrate that the City has finally stabilized its ongoing operational budget, which is projected to remain balanced in the long-term future.
However, while the City is close to retiring its General Fund debt and has accomplished a number of major goals over the past few years, the remaining challenge is deferred maintenance of infrastructure and facilities that has occurred due to the City’s financial challenges during the past two decades. This represents another form of debt because it involves eminent costs that have accumulated over time. The second Long-Range Financial Plan scenario includes a plan to address this problem.
The City is beginning to collect important cannabis tax revenues from new businesses coming on line, which will provide much needed help. However, these revenues are less than originally forecasted. Therefore, an additional $1 million annually is projected as necessary to address serious deferred maintenance items in the City’s streets, sidewalks and facilities, as well as important public safety needs.
To fund these needs, the plan includes an option of placing a measure on the 2022 ballot to increase the local sales tax by ½ cent. Currently, 14 of the 18 other cities in Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties have sales tax rates higher than King City, so this represents an opportunity for additional revenue while maintaining competitive tax rates. It is also a good option because the majority of taxes are paid by people from outside King City.
The City would like public feedback on the Long-Range Financial Plan prior to making a decision on whether to proceed with a ballot measure. You may contact City Hall at 831-385-3281 or email [email protected].
A copy of the budget and Long-Range Financial Plan can be accessed on the City’s website kingcity.com.