Los Banos Talk
On Monday April 5, 2021 The Los Banos City Council held an online City Budget Workshop in which staff reported on expenses, operating costs, projected expenses, future plans, and current economic health of Los Banos. Surprisingly, Los Banos is actually expected to see economic growth in 2021, but is not anticipating to bring in as much sales tax revenue as it did in 2019, pre-pandemic just yet. Sonya Williams stated during the presentation that she saw a "slight dip" in sales tax revenue in 2020, but growth in 2021. She said that economic activity seemed to shift to different sectors but not really decrease much over all in terms of sales tax revenue. Williams continued on to say that the housing market remained strong, development remained strong, local small retail and restaurants lost revenue, and other "unexpected sectors" saw an increase. This isn't surprising considering that local small businesses, much of downtown, restaurants, gyms, and salons were forced to close for long stretches of time while large retailers remained open.
Revenues from sales tax are continuing to outpace city expenditures resulting in an accumulation in the City General Fund. City Revenue was reported as $20,14, 325 and expenditures or costs at $19,621,795, resulting in a general fund surplus of $519,530. Most of this surplus comes from measure H, which has a surplus of $388,814. Measure H revenue technically goes into the city general fund, but was and still is intended to be for public safety and public amenities. If excluding the Measure H surplus, the City would be left with a more generalized general surplus of about $130,716. This surplus seems to be taking into account already the various projects being undertaken such as downtown revitalization and construction of the new police station.
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