VENTURA : Tax and Interest Revenues Fall Short

Ventura's tax receipts and interest on city investments are falling short of expectations, trends that, if they continue, could leave the city more than half a million dollars below budget projections.

The city's first-quarter financial report released Wednesday shows that sales tax receipts were up 2.45% over the first quarter of the 1993-94 fiscal year--a slight improvement that does little to offset last year's drops, the report states.

If the direction reverses and the receipts begin to drop again, the city could fall $150,000 below original predictions for sales tax receipts, according to Mike Solomon, the city's main budget analyst and author of the report.

Because property values continue to decline, tax revenue is falling again in Ventura, the report states. Altogether, the city could see $500,000 less in property tax receipts than it had banked on for the 1994-95 fiscal year, which began in July, according to the report.

Interest earnings on the city's investments are also lower than originally projected, the report states.

Still, officials say, it is too early in the year to worry about these potential shortfalls.

"There's some concerns here," Solomon said. "But we will need more data than three months worth" to determine where the city's finances are headed this year.

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