City News Service
The city of San Diego spent less money and increased revenue in the first six months of the fiscal year, while employee pay rose in several departments, according to a pair of reports delivered to the City Council Wednesday.
The Office of the Comptroller told the council's Budget and Finance Committee that the city had spent $533.4 million by Dec. 31, or $16.9 million less than forecast by that point in the budget. The fiscal year starts July 1.
Revenue was $9.8 million higher than projected — $338.9 million — led by jumps in sales tax and hotel room tax revenue, according to the report.
The first five months of a fiscal year tend to be spending-heavy, but revenue traditionally catches up in the second half, the authors of the report said.
The Office of Financial Management will tell the committee members that the projected surplus by the end of the fiscal year, June 30, will be $5.1 million.
However, the authors noted that salaries and wages citywide are projected to be $7.6 million higher than budgeted by the end of the year, a 2 percent increase.
Most of the salary — $4.6 million — will go to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, because of added vacation time, payment of annual leave, and overtime, according to the report.
Councilman Carl DeMaio expressed concern over the annual leave payments.
"It seems like there's a lot of money being paid out, and I don't see other employers having this kind of policy," DeMaio said.
Chief Financial Officer Mary Lewis said the SDFRD wants $3.4 million more to be solvent this year, but about $2.2 million of that total would be reimbursed.
The Park and Recreation Department is projected to finish the year $1.4 million over its worker-pay budget, and the library $377,000 over, because savings from vacancies have been lower than expected.