Council learns of deeper revenue hole


Tax revenues for the city of San Diego are projected to be $22.7 million below what was included in the proposed budget for the coming fiscal year, the City Council was told Monday.

The decline is caused by a greater-than-anticipated drop in property and hotel tax revenues, the city’s chief operating officer said during a hearing on the fiscal year 2010 budget.

COO Jay Goldstone said the state could also take $36 million in funds slated for the city to balance its budget.

Mayor Jerry Sanders’ proposed fiscal year 2010 budget, which was released in April, overcame an earlier estimated deficit of $60 million through sizable reductions in employee compensation.

He has pledged not to cut services.

The mayor’s strategy for overcoming the additional burden on the fiscal year 2010 budget was supposed to be delivered to the City Council Monday in the form of a so-called “May revise.”

Because the document was not ready, the City Council postponed until June 3 a hearing on the revised budget.

Councilman Carl DeMaio was sharply critical of the mayor for not delivering a copy of the revised spending plan to the City Council in advance of the scheduled 2 p.m. hearing.

“We have a process here,” DeMaio said. “The process is not being followed once again. This is a recurring theme. This has got to stop. It absolutely has to stop.’’

Mary Lewis, the city’s chief financial officer, attributed the delay to a last-minute adjustment in the budget for stormwater projects.