The Pleasanton City Council unanimously approved the proposed budget and tax rate for Fiscal Year 2020-2021 after their final public hearing on Sept. 17.
“Obviously, the revenues aren’t coming in as they’re supposed to and those are very hard to predict, especially in a pandemic,” said City Manager Johnny Huizar. “We’ve been holding strong to our budget and being aware of our expenses.”
Huizar said the city has continually maintained a conservative mindset throughout the pandemic and will stay that way as they move forward.
“We’ll be monitoring our budget through our financials, which we do monthly. I have been doing this every week. I need to know where our money is and where our expenses are going.”
Budget, tax rate
The council unanimously approved the proposed budget for fiscal year 2020-2021. For 2020-2021, total Expenditures are $21,699,469 and total Revenues are $27,240,893.
One of the biggest cuts the city made for their 2020-2021 budget is cutting the raises they normally propose for their employees in order for them to continue their services and programs that citizens are used to and need to keep them safe.
The city currently has CIP projects, utility street projects and grant projects. This year, they finished out the CBGD grant on Fifth Street. They were also just awarded another CBGD grant for Bowen Street, Pleasanton Spur and Third Street for $5,000 for the water line in that area. Huizar stated they will continue to monitor their CIP funds while monitoring their Operating funds. “In order for us to keep our employees as employees, we have implemented some disciplines in our budgets,” said Huizar. “We’ve had some hiring freezes and some expense cuts as far as buying what we need, and that’s been our mentality for a good while. That has helped us get through some hard times and this is one of the harder times that I have experienced. I think that mentality is what has gotten us through this far.”
Huizar explained that throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the city has not had to lay off or furlough any employees because of the conservative mentality the city upholds of doing more with less.
“Everybody is aware of where we stand. We have communicated with our employees what needs to be done and everybody is willing to do their part.”
As far as Huizar is concerned, he does not foresee any pay cuts in the future.
“That would be the last resort if it came down it.”
A few things citizens need to know about the budget is that the city has created a whole new department with the many cuts they have done over the past six months.
“We were able to create a full-time fire department which was needed at the time and still is needed today,” said Huizar. “Now our citizens have 24/7 fire protection and we were able to do that with the adjustments in our budget.”
Other factors to consider is the city’s incubator system that has helped keep local businesses open throughout the pandemic and the airport generating sales through jet fuel.
“Our sales tax is still experiencing some short falls, but because of us being the business hub of the area, we’re still able to continue to operate,” said Huizar. “We’re still missing our 100% sales, but at 50% were able to keep operating and now with the Governor announcing opening at 75%, we should be able to move up to the next step when our park and civic center open on Friday.”
Council also unanimously approved the adopted tax rate of $0.499763.
“We also made a big decision to not go up on taxes either,” said Huizar. “We’re going to rely on the tax evaluations as far as the property taxes are concerned on what revenue is going to come in. It still won’t be enough so we still have to remain conservative.”
For the full breakdown of budget and tax rate for the 2020-2021 Fiscal Year starting Oct. 1, 2020 through Sept. 30, 2021, please visit www.pleasantonexpress.com.