On Tuesday, June 13, the Orange City Council adopted the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 budget. As a result of our City’s strong economic growth, diverse business mix, and fiscally responsible management, the City’s finances are in-balance, with revenues above expenditures for the sixth consecutive year following the Great Recession.
The $107.8 million General Fund budget, which takes effect on July 1, represents only a 1.4% increase in expenditures from Fiscal Year 2016-2017. The budget supports the continued effort to enhance our efficiency and cost effectiveness while still providing a variety of high quality programs and services to our residents and businesses. Public safety continues to be the highest priority program as funding for Police and Fire operations account for over 67% of the City’s budget. General Fund revenues for the upcoming fiscal year are projected to be $107.9 million, which reflects the solid economic performance of our City’s businesses. The budget anticipates an especially strong performance from our housing and rental market sectors, with the addition of two new single-family subdivisions under construction, and several condominium and apartment complexes which will be coming onto the market in FY 17-18. In our retail sector, both the Outlets at Orange and the Old Towne Plaza downtown area continue to be strong sales tax revenue generators. Continuing a multi-year trend, our Hotel/Transient Occupancy Tax revenues are also still showing significant growth.
As we strive to keep Orange “A Great Place to Live, Work, and Shop” the new budget provides $23.1 million dollars for both new and continuing Capital Improvement Projects. Among these are significant renovations to Shaffer Park and Yorba Park- including new landscaping at both parks, a completely renovated Dog Park at Yorba, and a new community building at Shaffer- expansion of our recreational trails, the purchase of a Type-3 Fire Engine specifically designed to fight fires in wildland areas such as those on the east side of the City, and the long-awaited ground-breaking for the Metrolink Parking Structure at Lemon St. and Chapman Ave., which should begin construction in August, 2017.
The new budget is a continuation of the ongoing conservative fiscal leadership by the Orange City Council, and the hard work of City Staff. Orange is a destination for business, our housing market is strong, and the new budget continues the ongoing commitment of the Council to reinvest in the community and be good stewards of the public’s tax dollars.