Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Some comments on fund transfers

There's been some public discussion about the transfer of money from the various utility accounts to Lodi's General Fund, the account used to pay for discretionary services such as fire and police protection, park maintenance, and general government services.

There's been an assertion that Lodi transfers whatever money it wants from the water and wastewater funds to the General Fund, and the amount is arbitrary. It is not.

The transfer is based on a cost-of-services study performed by MuniFinancial, a consulting firm used by numerous cities and other public agencies to determine the cost and funding of various public services. This report was provided to the City Council in September 2007.

If you want to read a 47-page PDF that's thick with tables and explanations, it's been on the City's website for nearly two years and is available here.

The water and wastewater fund stopped paying the PILOT -- short-hand for "payment in lieu of taxes" -- because a transfer from those utilities to the General Fund must be related to the burden on the General Fund.

Anyone in Lodi can learn what it costs to run the City. Simply read the annual budget that is posted online at www.lodi.gov.

No comments: