Employee pay rose in several departments, but the city of San Diego spent less overall and increased revenue through the first half of the fiscal year, which began July 1, according to budget reports delivered to the City Council on Wednesday.
The Office of Financial Management projects a $5.1 million general fund surplus by the end of the current fiscal year, which is June 30, thanks to nearly $10 million in additional revenue and $16.9 million less spent than forecast.
Employee salaries and wages, however, are expected to cost the city $7.6 million more than budgeted this fiscal year, mostly due to added vacation time, annual leave payments and overtime for the . The department wants $3.4 million more to be solvent this year, but about $2.2 million of that would be reimbursed, Chief Financial Officer Mary Lewis said.
The annual leave payments caught the attention of Councilman Carl DeMaio, who represents Rancho Bernardo in District 5.
"It seems like there's a lot of money being paid out, and I don't see other employers having this kind of policy," DeMaio said.
The Parks and Recreation Department also is projected to finish the year over its worker-pay budget by $1.4 million. The library is, too, by $377,000 due to lower than expected savings from vacancies.
Overall, the city had spent $533.4 million by Dec. 31, nearly $17 million less than expected. Led by jumps in sales tax and hotel room tax revenue, the city had $338.9 million in revenue—$9.8 million more than projected, according to the report from the Office of the Comptroller to the council's Budget and Finance Committee.
The first five months of a fiscal year tend to be spending-heavy, but revenue usually catches up in the second half, report authors said.
City News Service contributed to this report.