More in City Hall:
- City Council votes 4-1 to sell large Sylvan Corners lot to housing developer January 17, 2021
- Emergency roadwork to shut down Greenback Lane on Monday January 15, 2021
- The Civic Minute: what’s happening at Citrus Heights City Hall? January 14, 2021
Sentinel staff report–
Citrus Heights City Manager Christopher Boyd in a holiday message posted on the city’s website Monday offered an outlook on the next year, saying residents can expect to see a decrease in services “for the forseeable future.”
Boyd briefly reflected on 2020, noting kind actions within the community amid the coronavirus pandemic, and also citing the failure of Measure M, which would have bumped the city’s sales tax up to 8.75% to bring in a projected extra $12 million to the city’s General Fund each year.
Boyd said budget difficulties have stemmed from COVID-19, increased online shopping, the declining Sunrise Mall, and a long-anticipated budget “cross-over” point where the city’s expenses would exceed revenues, due to a “revenue-neutrality” agreement with the county. As a condition of being allowed to incorporate as a city in 1997, Citrus Heights agreed to forgo its share of property taxes for 25 years, which concludes in fiscal year 2022-23.
“Now, without viable options for increasing city revenue, we are tasked with making difficult decisions to decrease services next year and for the foreseeable future,” Boyd wrote.
Some pushback regarding Boyd’s message was seen in community discussions on social media, with some advocating for pay cuts for city staff.
Councilman Bret Daniels on Facebook called Boyd’s statement “spot on,” but also said it omitted “the glaring aspect of the decision by a previous council to build a new City Hall, knowing that our expenditures would soon outpace our revenue.” Daniels told The Sentinel last month that the City Council will also “likely need the courage to look at not only a wage freeze, but possibly wage reductions over the next two years.”
Read the holiday message: click here
Boyd said city leaders will be heading into strategic planning and budgeting in the new year and “will look to balance and align” with priorities listed by residents in an extensive community survey the city conducted. Those priorities include police funding, street maintenance, homelessness reduction programs, and local business and jobs support.
The council is tasked with adopting a new two-year budget before the current fiscal year ends on June 30, 2021.
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