Upland Department Heads Working Toward A $1.5 M Reserve In 2013-14

(June 7) In anticipation of the Upland City Council’s approval of  the upcoming 2013-14 budget, city manager Stephen Dunn shot down reports that the city was going to be more than million dollars short of its earlier anticipated revenue for the upcoming year.
Dunn said he is confident the city will receive roughly $40 million in revenue in the twelve months between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014 and can meet the goal he has imposed on the city’s department heads of holding overall operating expenditures to $38.5 million to generate $1.5 million in reserves.
In 2012-13, Upland functioned on a balanced general fund budget that took in $39.8 million in revenues matched by $39.8 million in expenditures.
Dunn said there may be declines or delays in the receipt of some of the income the city receives. “Our revenue remains flat,” Dunn said. “This year, we expected $4.5 million in property tax but only got $3.9 million, mostly because of delinquencies in some of our residents paying. We will eventually get that money but there will be a delay. Property tax comes in twice a year, in April and December. The housing market is starting to burn hot in San Bernardino County and banks are no longer hanging on to foreclosures, so that should clean the slate and we will get those delinquencies.”
Dunn also said that the city may not receive $100,000 in what he called “surplus” money from the county, which is passed along to municipalities by the board of supervisors from leftover funds they have to spend within their districts at the end of each fiscal year. He said the city will be able to make do without that windfall.
In the run-up to the preparation of the  2013-14 budget, which he  said he hoped to have approved at the last council meeting this month, Dunn indicated he instructed the city’s department heads to start with the assumption that the city will have roughly the same amount of general fund money in the upcoming year – $40 million – that it had in the current fiscal year.  He told the department heads his goal was to have the city build a $1.5 million reserve into the budget.
The department heads returned, Dunn said “with $1.8 million more in expenditures than the $40 million in expected revenue.  We have since made adjustments and at the last round we were at a break even point, with revenues matching expenditures.”
He said the exercise will be performed again and again until the $38.5 million goal is reached.
“We have to look at lowering our expenditures because we really can’t control revenue,” he said.
Dunn said he is relatively sure the city will have $40 million in revenue into its general fund. He said that revenue model assumed a three to five percent property tax delinquency.
The city would eventually be able to hold the expenditure line, he said, because of contract concessions the city had earlier achieved with employee bargaining groups.

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