As Goleta ends its tenth fiscal year since incorporation, it is a perfect time to revisit where Goleta sits as a City. While we have fared better than most communities through this very tough recession, we still have some uncertainties ahead. Rising public safety costs, infrastructure and capital project costs and the loss of redevelopment all create financial challenges in the years ahead.
Like cities around the State, Goleta saw a significant drop-off in revenues from 2008-2010. And even with a healthy rebound the past two years, we are still today well below our historic high of five years ago.
However, beginning this fiscal year which starts July 1, the City begins to collect a larger portion of sales tax (70% vs.50%) and all of our bed tax (100% vs. 60%) from local revenues that had been going to the County. Therefore, as we compare our current year with next fiscal year, we see a healthy increase in revenues.
This year, expected revenues for the City’s General Fund jump from $15.3 million to $18.7 million, a 20% increase. These increases are attributable to the change in the Revenue Neutrality Agreement as well as an improved economy and a new hotel. This revenue increase will allow Goleta to maintain its heavy investments in our streets and public safety services, among other priorities identified by the City Council.