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Galt braces for lower property tax revenues

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Posted: Friday, February 22, 2013 12:00 am

The city of Galt is expecting approximately $150,000 less in property tax revenue this fiscal year, according to a mid-year review.

But City Manager Jason Behrmann does not believe it will have an impact on anything that residents will notice.

"I see it as rebounding after this," he said.

Property tax revenue makes up about 46 percent of the city's general fund, which pays for general operating costs such as salaries.

Sales tax in Galt makes up approximately 21 percent of the city's general fund. Compared to last quarter, it is down 17 percent, although Behrmann is not sure why at this time.

Property and sales tax revenues generally make up the largest sources of discretionary revenue for California cities.

Still, the recession that clamped a stranglehold on area governments about four years ago is showing signs of relaxing.

In Elk Grove, for example, sales taxes have been on track to outpace budgeted expectations, while in Sacramento, they showed gains over the prior year.

Property tax revenue for cities statewide has lagged in yearly comparisons. That's because there's a delay between activity in real estate and revenue to local governments. Although there are reports that homes are selling for more, those higher home prices won't translate to higher tax proceeds in many places until after the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.

In Galt, Finance Director Inez Kiriu estimates there will be a 1 percent increase in property tax to half of the city parcels this year.

However, she said, there will be a decrease in assessed value due to reductions related to the Proposition 8 assessed property tax value initiative. It will affect approximately 500,000 parcels citywide. Proposition 8 was a 1978 amendment to California's Constitution that allows for reassessment of property values when the market is in decline.

The city expects an additional $113,000 decrease due to a lag in money owed by the state.

Officials are currently evaluating the effect that will have on the 2013-14 budget, according to Kiriu, who presented the mid-year report to the city council earlier this month.

In Sacramento County, the budget calls for a $10 million drop in property tax proceeds from the prior fiscal year, or about $192 million through June 30. But sales taxes are expected to grow $5.1 million in the period.

The Sacramento Bee contributed to this report.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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  • Joanne Bobin posted at 10:27 am on Fri, Feb 22, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4306

    Oops...posted the last by accident - comment continued.....

    My property taxes have INCREASED since the economic slowdown and my property has lost market value to the tune of 250K, but the assessor's office tells me that has nothing to do with their "assessed valuations."

    Also, if these properties are in foreclosure, the mortgage holder is responsible for paying the property taxes if they are not receiving those monies from property "owners."

    This article needs a lot more clarification.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 10:17 am on Fri, Feb 22, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4306

    Good questions, Mr. Chaney.

    Is the projected "loss" in property taxes in Galt due to lower property values, or for non-payment of property taxes.

    My property taxes have INCREASED

  • Doug Chaney posted at 6:24 am on Fri, Feb 22, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 499

    Where are the comparable articles that are so comprehensive as those designated constantly to Galt, while the controversial issues are swept under the rug at the Sentinel, such as the recent decision by Lodi city council to let Gillespie and Doucette out of their contractual obligations at the Gateway housing projects and Reynolds Ranch, depriving your town of much needed revenue from developers that made a bad business decision and since they're well connected and part of the good old boys clan are just forgiven of debt and contractual obligations only given to those to whom this council seems to always do "special" favors for. Aren't these poor decisions and loss of revenue to our city as important as Galt? I would expect that you would at least cover the same type issues of your own little town as well as Galt. At least the Galt citizens are pretty well informed while that doesn't hold true for Lodi. And I don't believe that Galt has any 7AM public meetings that give the appearance of keeping citizens away from their important self serving " secret" early morning agendas, do they?



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