Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Benicia's Reserve Even Healthier

Benicia's Reserve Even Healthier
By GREG MOBERLY, Times-Herald staff writer
Vallejo Times Herald

BENICIA - A budget with an already robust reserve is even better than originally projected with about $960,000 more in property and sales tax revenue, Benicia's finance director said Tuesday.

With limited discussion, the City Council unanimously approved budget changes that balance the budget for 2005-06. The unanticipated revenues slightly boost the budget reserve to 23.3 percent.

"This is really good news to report," Finance Director Rob Sousa said.

The city received more than $263,000 in unanticipated property taxes and about $223,000 in unanticipated sales and use tax revenue.

Without the added revenue, Mayor Steve Messina said, the council would have delayed or deferred key projects.

Vehicle license fees, business license tax, and the Pacific Gas and Electric franchise fee also contributed more than anticipated revenue, according to Sousa's report.

In other business, council members approved a $141,000 contract to build a bus stop that would serve as a direct connection to Vacaville and Fairfield to the north and the Pleasant Hill BART station to the south. The stop at Park Road and Industrial Way could be completed by late summer.

Council members also agreed to another six-month extension of a temporary accord with the Valero Benicia refinery for the refiner's utility tax payment. A previous 10-year agreement between the city and Valero expired at the beginning of this year.

The extension requires Valero to pay $1.4 million for its 2006 utility tax bill once a new agreement is reached.

- E-mail Greg Moberly at or call 553-6833.

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