Sometimes the current budget picture wasn’t caused by the obvious problems, and more often than not, it’s easy to forget history. But Manteca has been struggling with structural budgets problems by either ignoring them or using tricks of the economic boom years for cover.

Developer fees were once a way to fund city programs, but without a booming market, those have dried up. Even though the city has gone to elaborate lengths to protect public safety, the overall increase of the forces has not kept pace with the population. And without changes to what collects sales tax, and how much tax is collected, these problems will continue.

In all, the senior editor at the Manteca Bulletin highlights eight “dirty little secrets” of the city’s budget.

From the Manteca Bulletin:

Ready for to hear a couple of dirty little secrets?

1. The current Manteca City Council isn’t exactly anti-police or anti-firefighters. In fact, you could argue they are overtly pro-police and pro-firefighters given the fact four of the five sitting members – Debby Moorhead wasn’t in office at the time – gave all of Manteca’s public safety workers as well as other municipal workers fairly substantial pay hikes. Those pay hikes brought their compensation in line with other cities that are in stronger financial positions due to a much deeper and varied sources of tax revenues such as Pleasanton.

2. Taxpayers in general haven’t been paying for the level of service we’ve been receiving for a number of years. Growth has and it has nothing to do with the fact that new homeowners, for awhile, were paying taxes on new homes that were selling from between $480,000 and $780,000. It has everything to do with the infamous bonus bucks ranging from $7,000 to $13,000 per home that were collected from developers in exchange for sewer uncertainty.

Read the full article here.