Unlike the federal and state budget facing huge deficits and potential bankruptcy, Mayor Marsha McLean announced that the City of Santa Clarita has balanced its budget and will maintain the 15 percent reserve for the upcoming fiscal year.
In addition, Santa Clarita was recognized recently with not one, but two economic honors. The “Think Santa Clarita” marketing campaign won the Economic Award of Excellence honor. The campaign encourages local residents to shop locally and to attract potential businesses to “Think, Think, Think” of locating their business in the Santa Clarita Valley. Another accolade was presented to the City of Santa Clarita for winning second place in Economic Development. Both awards were presented at the California Association for Economic Development conference held in Sacramento.
Not a minor task in this Great Recession, the city spent just under $7.77 million of the expected general fund. The city expects to bring in more than half of the budget through sales and property taxes. The largest budget item remains public safety.
Will taxes be raised to meet the budget? Gail Ortiz, the spokeswoman for the city, stated that locally there will be slightly higher fees for city permits, while property owners can expect to actually save $28 over the year.
The optimism of Santa Clarita’s balanced budget scores highly as many other cities throughout the nation face a bleak economic forecast.
However, due to state budget cuts, education is taking a hard hit in Santa Clarita. Newhall School District recently voted to lay off 16 permanent status general education teachers, in addition to the 14 temporary classroom teachers cut earlier this year. In spite of an uncertain future for education, College of the Canyons forges ahead with classes and is offering even more classes for the summer session.