Santa Rosa's City Council begins the first of two in-depth budget sessions Tuesday to decide how to spend about 9 percent more in the coming year.
The budget is set to increase to $339.9 million under the draft proposed by City Manager Kathy Millison. The current budget is $311.5 million.
The increased spending after years of budget austerity is made possible in part by increases in tax collections and permit fees.
Sales, property and other taxes are tracking $2.1 million higher than expected this year, according to Chief Financial Officer Lawrence Chiu. The city also expects about $500,000 more in permit fees, fines and charges. Revenues are expected to rise 2 percent. The city general fund, the pot of money over which the City Council has the most control, is expected to see a 5.6 percent spending bump, from $116.9 million to $123.4 million.
The fire department's
The utilities department budget is set to increase 12 percent to $136.5 million, reflecting the higher cost of water purchases, the addition of several new positions and nearly $14 million more for upgrades to the city's
Tuesday, beginning at noon, the City Council will hear presentations from recreation and parks, police and fire, as well as administrative departments.
Formal budget hearings take place in June.
You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 521-5207 or firstname.lastname@example.org.