City coffers get unexpected $8M

San Francisco’s economic picture keeps improving for next year, as The City reports an additional $8 million in unexpected revenue by June 30.

The report comes as the Board of Supervisors reviews Mayor Gavin Newsom’s proposed $5.73 billion budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

The Board of Supervisors will decide by June 30 how to spend the additional $7.68 million, but doling out the extra money is not so simple.

“To increase the total pot of the budget by that $7.6 million, or some portion of it, the Mayor’s Office would have to propose that as an adjustment to the [mayor’s proposed] budget at this point,” Controller Ed Harrington said.

The additional money largely comes from about $6 million more than projected in property transfer tax from fiscal year 2005-06 and leftover money in city reserves. This year, Newsom’s proposed budget for the year beginning July 1 closed a $35 million deficit. The City is facing a projected deficit of more than $115 million for the budget year beginning July 1, 2007.

The extra money brings hope to a long list of social service groups who are making their pitch to the Board of Supervisors to receive funding from Newsom's proposed budget. However, additional revenue is expected to spark a debate over the practice of using additional revenue for one-time expenditures.

Supervisor Sean Elsbernd said it is important to use one-time revenues for one-time expenditures. Otherwise, when that revenue is no longer available, The City will be strapped with ongoing operating costs, he said.

Supervisor Chris Daly said he views the $7.68 million as money to be spent during the budget year beginning July 1. Daly said he has a long list of “unmet service needs” seeking a total of $80 million.

The City’s budget committee wasted no time Monday in awarding about $1 million to the San Francisco Trauma Recovery Center to keep the facility from closing down on Nov. 1.

The trauma center, which treats 800 victims of violence a year by providing free services, was the first recipient of an “add back.” The Mariposa Street center provides victims of violence with free services such as counseling or onsite visits. Last year, its state funding was lost.

The one vote opposing the center funding came from Elsbernd, who said it was too early to grant such a request. He added, “I want a better explanation as to why $1.5 million can’t be found with a $2 billion surplus in Sacramento.”

jsabatini@examiner.com

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