On Tuesday evening, Alameda City Council passed a budget for the 2012 to 2013 fiscal year, which begins this Sunday, July 1st.
The $71.8 million budget includes reductions, like closing the jail at the Alameda Police Administration building on Oak Street. In an announcement, the City of Alameda asserted that there would be no decrease in direct services to the community.
The City’s announcement noted that the budget includes no new taxes on Alameda residents or businesses. However, it wasn’t for lack of trying – on March 7th, City Council approved Measure C, a local ballot measure that would have increased the sales tax rate by one-half of one percent. The City aggressively promoted the measure via its website, and City Manager John Russo stumped through Alameda to encourage support. Ultimately, the measure was defeated on June 5th with roughly half of voters rejecting it; the measure needed a two-thirds majority to pass.
Further, in closing a projected shortfall, the City classified a new emergency medical services tax expected to generate about $900,000 per year as a general fund cost savings. The pre-existing tax was newly levied on Alameda residents as the result of the annexation last year of the City of Alameda into the Alameda County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) District.
According to the budget documents provided by the City, personnel costs next year will account for 69 percent of expenditures, or $50.6 million, and operational costs, the next largest share, will account for 14 percent, of expenditures, or $9.9 million.
The budget presentation for the city council meeting is included below.