The City Council will be discussing the proposed budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year at its next regular meeting next month.
The budget was prepared following guidelines set by the council on issues that they prioritized for the operating budget. The guidelines were public safety, health and well-being, and financial stability.
The proposed budget reveals a small decrease in sales tax revenue. With the sales tax revenue expected, the city is showing a drop in the amount in the General Fund, going from a balance of a little over $6.5 million in 2021, to a balance of $6.36 million for the fiscal year of 2021-22.
According to the proposed budget, most of the sales tax revenue was produced by retailer William Sonoma, which has not been as affected as other retailers through the pandemic.
Sales tax revenue represents 62% of the city’s revenue, with the projected amount of $19.3 million in revenue, compared to $20.5 projected for 2020-21.
The projected expenditures in the different departments are close to the 2020-21 numbers, with a slight increase in the public safety department.
The Police Department budget was a little over $6.7 million in 2020-21, with the 2021-22 projected numbers coming in at about $7.5 million. This increase takes into account new hires that the department has made to strengthen its police force and the new technology that the department has acquired. The Police Department has 41 employees for the coming year which is an increase of six employees.
The total expenditures for 2021-22 is projected to be around $29.5 million, compared to $29.1 million in 2020-21. The city will lose the revenue from the Modified Correctional Facility which is approximately $1 million. The facility was closed by the state in October 2020.
The proposed budget lists as a goal exploring options to maintain the Shafter Branch Library, attempting to keep it open after the current temporary agreement ends.
The City Council will be discussing the proposed budget at its meeting to be held on Tuesday, June 1, with possible action taken at that time. A copy of the proposed budget can be viewed on the city’s website.
A more detailed article on the 2021-22 budget will be in the next issue of the Shafter Press, along with any action taken on the budget.