"Excellent" was the word used by city staff to describe the state of Menlo Park's financial health in a report released in advance of the council's meeting Tuesday, Jan. 29.
According to Menlo Park's “Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,” the city's net position increased by $23.5 million in the 2017-18 fiscal year compared with a $12.1 million increase during the prior fiscal year, based on all city activity. A city's net position is an indicator of the value of all its assets, including property and cash as well as assets earmarked for specific funds, Menlo Park Budget and Finance Manager Dan Jacobson said.
The city's unassigned fund balance, or the amount of cash that hasn't been earmarked for a specific fund or purpose, was $3.57 million in the 2017-18 fiscal year, up from $2.28 million the prior fiscal year.
The increases came from a number of factors. The city's biggest increase in revenue came from developer fees, marked in its "charges for service" category, which generated $11.4 million more than in 2016-17. Those fees must go toward ameliorating the impact that the development has on the city's infrastructure.
Property taxes continue to represent the bulk of the city's revenue, or about 38 percent, according to the report. And those continue to rise, based on increases in assessed property values. Between 2017 and 2018, the report states, Menlo Park's total taxable assessed value for real property went up 12.5 percent, increasing property tax revenues by $2.63 million. Hotel tax revenue increased $1.11 million, or by nearly 17 percent.
General fund revenue was up about $8 million compared with 2016-17.
The Menlo Park City Council is scheduled to review and file the "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report" Tuesday, starting with a closed session at 5:30 p.m. and its regular session at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held in the City Council Chambers at 701 Laurel St., in the Menlo Park Civic Center.