RIALTO -- The city's budget continues to reflect a struggling economy, according to a first-quarter financial report.
With a fiscal 2012-13 budget that started nearly $6 million in the red, sales taxes have fallen off in the first quarter ending Sept. 30.
According to a report from the Finance Department, the dropoff was mainly due to closures among the fuel and service station sector, which generates almost half of Rialto's annual sales and use tax revenue.
Still, revenues exceed those from the prior year at the same time by $171,588.
The city continues to spend reserves in order to fund services, and officials are hoping an extension of the 8 percent utility-users tax is passed by voters during a special election in March.
They say the city faces deep cuts across all departments unless the extension is passed. The utility-users tax makes up about 22 percent of the General Fund budget.
The city faces at least a $22 million structural deficit if voters don't approve the tax extension, and Rialto's reserves are expected to dip to $7 million by July 1, according to officials.
The utility-users tax is scheduled to sunset in June if voters don't pass the extension.
With the first quarter in the books, revenues are at $4.6 million while expenditures stood at nearly $11.4 million, according to the report.
Finance Manager Anita Agramonte said in the report that "most revenues received within the first 90 days of the fiscal year typically pertain to prior year transactions," and therefore have been reflected in the fiscal 2011-12 budget.
Agramonte noted that revenue streams are cyclical, and pointed to property taxes primarily being received in December and April, and that county waste rebate landfill charges are received within 90 days after the end of each fiscal quarter.
The General Fund remains in line with the budget, but a more detailed report will come out as part of a mid-year update in February.
Spending across most city departments is in line with the budget so far, and savings are expected because of vacant positions and continued cuts in services, according to the report.