FY 2021-22 Budget

Appropriation Limit

California voters approved propositions, amending the State Constitution, which requires that the annual Town budget include a calculation of the Appropriations Limit, sometimes referred to as the Gann Limit. This requirement was imposed by Proposition 4 (1979) and later amended by Proposition 111 (1990).

The requirement imposes a restriction on the amount of governmental revenue, which may be appropriated in any fiscal year. The Appropriations Limit was first based on actual appropriations during the base year (1986-87), and it can be increased each year based on a specific formula and specified growth factors. The Appropriations Limit does not apply to all funds. It only applies to funds that are “proceeds of taxes.”

Each year, the adjustment to the Appropriations Limit takes into consideration two factors: 1) the change in the cost of living, and 2) the change in population. For each of these factors, the Town may select between two optional factors.

Selection of Optional Factors

  1. Change in Population (Town of Colma vs. San Mateo County)
    1. Town of Colma had a population of 1,678 on 1/1/2020 and 1,659 on 1/1/2021, a decrease of 1.13%
    2. County of San Mateo had a population of 770,925 on 1/1/2020 and 765,113 on 1/1/2021, a decrease of 0.75%
  2. Change in State per capita Personal Income vs. Colma Non-Residential Building Construction
    1. Change in State Per Capital Personal Income was 5.73%
    2. Change in Colma Non-Residential Assessed Valuation was not available.

For the Fiscal Year 2021-22 calculation, the Town selected the County’s population growth rate of 0.75% and the change in the State Per Capita Income of 5.73%.

Appropriation Limit Calculation 2021-22

The 2021-22 Appropriations subject to the limit (“Proceeds of Taxes”) total $16,367,042, which means the Town is $40,907,730 below the authorized limit.

Staffing List

The data is available beneath the bar charts. Use the scroll bar to the right to move to the table.

Description of Funds

Fund Type: General Fund

General Fund (11)

For the purpose of tracking funding and cost of ongoing operation and unrestricted revenues. The expenditure and use of General Funds are discretionary after appropriation by the City Council to the extent there are no local policies or laws that impose any special conditions.

General Fund Reserves (12)

For the purpose of segregating committed reserve funds approved by the City Council in the Town Budget.

Emergency Operation (19)

For the purpose of tracking emergency operation.

Fund Type: Special Revenues

Gas Tax (21)

For the purpose of receiving gas tax collected and distributed by the State of California. Gas Tax Fund is designated for ongoing traffic signal and street lighting contract services as well as street capital projects as authorized by the gas tax requirement.

Measure A (22)

For the purpose of receiving Measure A collected and distributed by the San Mateo County Transportation Authority. This is a county-wide voter-approved sales tax measure designed to improve transit and relieve traffic congestion. A portion of the Measure A funds are distributed directly to cities on a per-capita basis and the use is limited to eligible street capital improvements.

Transportation Grant (23)

For the purpose of recording various Federal, State and county grants for major bikeway, pedestrian, and roadway capital improvement projects. Grants are generally reimbursable in nature and require the Town to pay the contract cost, first.

Parks in Lieu (24)

For the purpose of receiving Parks in Lieu fees and disbursing funds for Town parks and recreational facilities.

Housing Impact Fees (25)

For the purpose of receiving Housing Impact fees paid by developers and disbursing funds for affordable housing purposes.

Measure W (26)

For the purpose of receiving Measure W collected and distributed by the San Mateo County Transportation Authority. This is a county-wide voter-approved sales tax measure designed to improve transit and relieve traffic congestion. A portion of the Measure W funds are distributed directly to cities on a per-capita basis and the use is limited to eligible street capital improvements.

Public Safety Grants (27)

For the purpose of revenue associated with one-time or limited-term Police grants that have restricted uses. This includes a distribution associated with State criminal justice realignment funds. Other one-time Police-related grants are also accounted for in this fund. The Public Safety Grants Fund is designated by the Town as Fund #27. Expenditures from this fund will finance the majority of costs associated with specialized Police training and homeless outreach services.

COPS Grant (29)

For the purpose of revenue associated with Police grants that have restricted uses and may be on-going. This includes an annual State distribution from the Supplemental Law Enforcement Services Fund (SLESF), which must be used for front-line law enforcement activities. Expenditures from this fund will finance the majority of costs associated with the Police - Community Services Division including a Community Services Officer (CSO) position.

Fund Type: Capital

Capital Improvement (31)

For the purpose of tracking the funding and cost of capital improvement projects that are not related to improvements to streets (Fund 32), sewer (Fund 82), Verano property (Fund 83), and Creekside Villas property (Fund 83).

Street Capital (32)

For the purpose of tracking the funding and cost of Street Capital Improvement Projects

Fund Type: Debt

COPS Debt Services (43)

For the purpose of tracking the payment of interest and principal associated with the 2015 Town Hall Campus Renovation COP and related administrative expenses. This is the only debt the Town currently has outstanding.

Fund Type: Internal Services

Vehicle/Fleet Replacement (61)

For the purpose of accumulated funds over time to provide for the replacement of the Town fleet used by Police, Public Works, Recreation and Administration. Annual charges based on the usable life and cost of vehicles and the public works fleet are recorded as expenses within the operating departments. The future replacement of these vehicles and the fleet is financed from reserves accumulated in this fund.

Fund Type: Trust

OPEB Trust (71)

For the purpose of tracking funding designated to pay retiree medical and dental cost and related investment returns.

Pension Trust (72)

For the purpose of tracking funding designated to pay retiree pension cost and related investment returns.

Fund Type: Enterprise

Sewer Operating (81)

For the purpose of tracking the operating and maintenance cost of the Town’s Sewer System and to streamline quarterly and annual compliance reporting

Sewer Capital (82)

For the purpose of tracking the funding and cost of Sewer Capital Improvement project, and to establish the sewer system needs of the Town.

City Properties (83)

For the purpose of tracking the lease and rental of City properties, expenses for the maintenance of City properties, and depreciation.

Financial Policies

The Town of Colma's Policies are online and adopted as part of the Colma Administrative Code. Below is a list of policies that pertains to finance, directly.

Colma Administrative Code 4.01: Budget Procedures and Reserve Polices

Beginning on page 2 of the policy details the responsibility of the City Manager, content of the proposed budget, the process for budget adoption, and the process for budget amendments and adjustments. Beginning on page 6 of the policy details the reserve policy and the procedure to use and replenish the reserves.

Colma Administrative Code 4.02: Investment Policy

The purpose of the investment policy is to provide directions on how to invest public funds in a manner which will provide safety, liquidity, and yield through a diversified investment portfolio. The policy is reviewed annually and updated as needed.

Colma Administrative Code 4.03: Grants & Donations

The purposes of the grants and donation policy is to establish policies and procedures for assuring that all grants for charitable purposes are lawful and for establishing a fair and efficient process for reviewing and approving requests for grants or donations by the Town.

Colma Administrative Code 4.04: Banking Authority

The purpose of the banking authority policy is to document the signing authority, transfer authority, and the internal control surrounding Town;s depositary accounts.

Glossary of Terms


AB - Assembly Bill.

ABAG - Association of Bay Area Governments.

ABC - Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Accounting System - The total set of records and procedures used to record, classify, and report information on the financial status and operations of an entity.

Accrual Basis of Accounting - A method of accounting in which revenues are recorded when measurable and earned, and expenses are recognized when a good or service is used.

Activity - A unit of budgetary accountability and control that encompasses specific and distinguishable lines of work performance for the purpose of accomplishing a function for which the Town is responsible.

ADA - See Americans with Disabilities Act.

ADC - Actuarially Determined Contribution. Minimum annual contribution, as determined based on actuarial assumptions, to pay off OPEB or Pension liabilities.

Adopted Budget - The budget document formally approved by the City Council, often referred to as the original budget.

Ad-valorem - According to value.

Amended Budget - An adopted budget, after it has been changed (or adjusted) by the City Council. An example of an amended budget is when the City Council adopts changes in expenses and revenues of a specific item or project or a series of items and projects during the Mid-Year Budget process. (See Budget Adjustment)

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) - A 1990 law that gives federal civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, State and local government services, and telecommunications.

Appropriation - A legal authorization granted by the City Council to make expenditures or enter into obligations for specific purposes.

Appropriation Limit (Gann Limit) - A mandated calculation of how much the Town is allowed to expend in one fiscal year. It is mandated on government agencies within California by Article XIII B of the California Constitution. The amount of appropriation subject to the limit is the budgeted proceeds of taxes. Some examples of proceeds of taxes are sales and property taxes. The total of these budgeted revenues cannot exceed the total appropriations limit. Annually, local governments may increase the appropriations limit by a factor comprised of the change in population combined with the California inflation rate as determined by the State Finance Department.

APWA - American Public Works Association.

ARC - Actuarial Required Contribution. The term changed to Actuarially Determined Contribution, per GASB 75.

Assessed Valuation - A valuation set upon real estate or other property by the San Mateo County Assessor and the State as a basis for levying taxes.

Assigned Reserve - The spendable amounts set aside for specific purposes or contingencies authorized by resolution of the City Council.

Authorized Positions - Positions approved by the City Council which may or may not have funding. (See Budgeted Positions)

Audit - A review of the Town’s accounts by an independent accounting firm to verify that the Town’s financial statements accurately reflect its financial position.


BAAQMD - Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

Balanced Budget - A balanced budget exists when the total projected inflow of resources is equal to, or greater than, the total projected outflow of resources. The inflow of resources includes current year revenues, future grant receivable, and use of reserves as approved by City Council.

BART - Bay Area Rapid Transit.

Base Budget - Those resources necessary to meet an established and existing service level.

Basis of Budgeting - The method used for recognizing revenues and expenditures in the budget. The Town uses the modified accrual basis of accounting for budgetary purposes, which is in compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

BCDC - Bay Conservation and Development Commission.

Beginning Fund Balance - Resources available in a fund from the end of the prior year for use in the following year.

Benefits - See Fringe Benefits.

Bond - A written promise to pay a specified sum of money, called the face value of principal amount, at a specified date or dates in the future, together with the periodic interest at a specified rate issued by a city to raise capital funds.

Budget - A planning and controlling document for financial operation with estimates of proposed expenditures and revenues for a given period of time, usually one year. A plan expressed in figures.

Budget Adjustment - A change of expenditure levels and corresponding resources needed to accomplish an existing service level or unanticipated service. All budget adjustments are reflected in the current year budget and are approved by the City Council.

Budget Calendar - The schedule of key dates or milestones that a city follows in the preparation and adoption of the budget.

Budget Highlights - Portion of department narrative in the budget that focuses on key changes in the budget from the previous year.

Budget Message - A general written description summarizing the proposed budget. The budget message explains principal budget issues against the background of financial experience in recent years and presents recommendations made by the City Manager.

Budget Stabilization Reserve - Monies set aside, sometimes called a rainy day fund, that can be used to assure continuity of Town operations when tax revenues temporarily decline as the result of a recession, the loss of a major taxpayer or other similar circumstance.

Budgeted Capital Project - Existing or new Capital Projects that have funding available in the current fiscal year. Work on these projects will continue during this year's budget.

Budgeted Positions - The number of full-time equivalent positions to be funded in the budget. Example: Funding of two half-time positions would equal one full-time equivalent position. (See Authorized Positions).


C/CAG - City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County.

CAD/RMS - Computer Aided Dispatch and Records Management System.

CAFR - Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

Cal BIG - California Building Inspection Group.

CALBO - California Building Officials.


CAP - Climate Action Plan.

CAPE (General Government) – Community Action Plan for Emergencies (Colma’s CERT Program).

Capital Improvements - A permanent major addition to the Town’s real property assets including the design, construction, purchase or major renovation of land, buildings or facilities including major landscaping and park improvements.

Capital Improvement Program (CIP) - A plan for capital expenditures and the means of financing them, to be incurred each year over a fixed period of years, to meet capital needs arising from a long-term plan. (See Capital Improvements)

Capital Outlay - Routine capital expenditures for the acquisition of capital assets. These items are included in almost every budget and do not have a significant impact on the operating budget. The Town’s capitalization limit is $10,000. (See Fixed Asset)

Capital Project - All related expenditures for a public improvement project.

Capital Project Fund - Resources transferred from the General Fund to complete a capital improvement project.

Cardroom Tax - A permit tax imposed on gambling establishment operations in the Town of Colma. The tax is a general tax with the proceeds going to the General Fund. The tax requires each person operating a gambling establishment to pay a monthly tax which is a combination of a set fee and a percentage of gross revenue on a sliding scale set by Town ordinance.

CASp - Certified Access Specialist.

CAT - Community Action Teams.

CEQA - California Environmental Quality Act.

CERT - Community Emergency Response Team.

Certificates of Participation (COPs) - A method of raising funds collateralized by leases between a lessor and a government agency. Payments are funded with annual appropriations made by the government agency (in this case the Town) to the lessor. COPs are typically used for capital leases for large projects where the financing amount exceeds several million dollars.

Charges for Service - See Fees.

CIP - See Capital Improvement Program.

Climate Action Plan - A Climate Action Plan or a CAP is a detailed and strategic framework for measuring, planning, and reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and related climatic impacts. Climate Action Plans include an inventory of existing GHG emissions, reduction goals or targets, and prioritized measures and programs to reduce GHG emissions and climate impacts to target levels set by the City Council.

Closed Capital Project - Capital Projects that have been completed or closed out. These projects will only appear in future Capital Improvement Budgets if they have project expenditures during the prior three years.

COLA - See Cost of Living Adjustment.

Committed Reserve - The spendable amounts set aside to meet the Town’s long-term obligations.

Competitive Bidding - Transparent procurement method in which bids from competing contractors, suppliers, or vendors are invited by openly advertising the scope, specifications, and terms and conditions of the proposed contract as well as the criteria by which the bids will be evaluated. Competitive bidding aims at obtaining goods and services at the lowest prices by stimulating competition, and by preventing favoritism.

Consultants - Outside individuals who provide advice or services.

Contractual - A type of expenditure. Usually, a professional consulting service involving a contract for one or more years.

COP Town Hall Fund - Project expenses which were financed by Certificate of Participation (COP) debt financing.

COPs - (debt) Certificates of Participation.

COPS - (grant) Citizens Option for Public Safety. See Supplemental Law Enforcement Services Fund.

Cost Accounting - The branch of accounting that provides for the assembling and recording of all the elements of cost incurred to accomplish a purpose, to carry on an activity or operation, or to complete a unit of work or a specific job.

Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) - A scheduled percentage adjustment to wages, which is based upon the terms of labor agreements as approved by an action of the City Council.

Cost of Services - Payments made by customers for publicly provided services that benefit specific individuals and exhibit "public good" characteristics. They include fees such as recreation fees, building permit fees and planning fees.

CPI - Consumer Price Index.

CPOA - California Peace Officers’ Association.

CPR - Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.

CPRS - California Park and Recreation Society.

CPUC - California Public Utilities Commission.

CSMFO - California Society of Municipal Financial Officers.

CSO - Community Service Officer.


Debt Service - Actual cost of interest and principal on debt.

Debt Service Fund - A fund established for the payment of principal and interest on debt other than payable exclusively from special assessments.

Deficit - The excess of expenditures over revenues during an accounting period.

Department - An organizational unit comprised of divisions or programs. It is possible for a department to be comprised of only one division.

Department Description - A list of the typical activities of programs.

Department Function - Category of work performed. The Town has five major categories: General Government, Recreation, Public Works, Public Safety and Planning.

Discretionary Revenue - Money that the City Council has the authority to allocate for any purpose. Often refers to the General Fund, as opposed to special or Restricted Use Funds.

Division - A functional grouping of related activities within a department. There are usually several activities within a division. (See Activity)

DUI - Driving Under the Influence.


Economic Development - Efforts that seek to improve the economic well-being and quality of life for a community by creating and/or retaining jobs and supporting or growing incomes and the tax base.

Encumbrance - An obligation in the form of a purchase order or contract.

Enterprise Fund - A fund established to account for operations that are financed and operated in a manner similar to private business enterprises, where the intent of the City Council is that the costs of providing services to the general public on a continuing basis be financed or recovered primarily through user charges, i.e., water utility, parking system.

EOC - Emergency Operations Center.

ERAF - Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund. A shift of property tax revenue from local agencies (cities, counties, special districts) to the State.

Expenditure - Designates the cost of goods delivered or services rendered, whether paid or unpaid. Where accounts are kept on the accrual or modified accrual basis of accounting, costs are recorded when goods are received or services rendered. Where accounts are kept on a cash basis, expenditures are recognized when the cash payments are made.


FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Fees - A charge to cover the cost of services (e.g. building inspection fee, zoning fee, etc.) sometimes referred to as Charges for Service.

FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency.

FF&E - Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment.

FHA - Fair Housing Act.

Fiscal Accountability - The responsibility of governments to justify that their actions in the current period have complied with public policy decisions concerning the raising and spending of public moneys in the short term (usually one budgetary cycle or one year).

Fiscal Year - A twelve-month period of time to which the budget applies. For the Town of Colma and many local government agencies, this period is from July 1 through June 30.

Fixed Asset - A tangible item of a long-term character such as land, buildings, furniture, and other equipment with a unit cost in excess of $10,000. (See Capital Outlay)

Fleet Replacement Fund - An internal service fund used to accumulate funds over time to provide for the replacement of the Town fleet.

FLSA - Fair Labor Standards Act.

FMLA - Family Medical Leave Act.

FPPC - Fair Political Practices Commission.

Fringe Benefits - Benefits to Town employees, in addition to salaries, paid by the Town. These benefits include pensions, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, health club membership, and life and health insurance.

FTE - See Full-Time Equivalent.

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) - One or more employee positions totaling one full year of service or approximately 2,080 hours a year.

Full Cost Recovery - Recovering or funding the full costs of a project or service, typically through a user fee. In addition to the costs directly associated with the project, such as staff and equipment, projects will also draw on the rest of the organization. For example, adequate finance, human resources, management, and IT systems are also integral components of any project or service.

Fund - A self-balancing set of accounts. Governmental accounting information is organized into funds, each with separate revenues, expenditures and fund balances.

Fund Balance - The difference between fund assets and fund liabilities in a governmental or trust fund. Changes in fund balances are the result of the difference of revenues to expenditures. When revenues exceed expenditures in a given period, fund balance increases and when expenditures exceed revenue, fund balance decreases.

Funding Source - Identifies fund(s) that will provide resources for Town expenditures.

FY - See Fiscal Year.


GAAP - See Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

Gann Limit - See Appropriation Limit.

Gas Tax Fund - Fund required by State law to account for gas tax revenues received from the State and expended for construction and maintenance of Town streets.

GASB - See Governmental Accounting Standards Board.

GASB Statement No. 34 - Requires state and local governments to produce financial statements on an accrual basis, in much the same manner as private sector businesses. The objective is to enhance the understandability and usefulness of the financial reports of state and local governments to the public, legislative and oversight bodies, and investors and creditors.

GASB Statement No. 45 - Requires the measurement and recognition criteria for other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) for reporting purposes. The objective is to recognize the cost of benefits, provide information on related liabilities and provide information for assessing fiscal health for future periods.

GASB Statement No. 54 - Intended to improve the usefulness of the amount reported in fund balance by providing a more structured classification. It also clarifies the definition of existing governmental fund types.

GASB Statement No. 68 - Improves accounting and financial reporting by state and local governments for pensions. It establishes standards for measuring and recognizing liabilities and expenditures and identifies the methods and assumptions that should be used to calculate those liabilities and expenditures.

GASB Statement No. 75 - Improves accounting and financial reporting by state and local governments for post-employment benefits other than pensions (other post-employment benefits or OPEB) such as retiree medical and retiree dental benefits. It also improves information provided by state and local governmental employers about financial support for OPEB.

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) - Uniform standards used by state and local governments for financial recording and reporting; established by the accounting profession through the Governmental Accounting Standards Board.

General Fund - The primary fund of the Town used to account for all revenues of the Town not legally restricted as to use and related expenditures.

General Fund Reserves - The balance of all general funds not otherwise appropriated (budgeted) or accounted for, such as the allocated reserves Council set aside for Litigation, Insurance, Disaster Preparedness, Employee Benefits and Operations.

General Plan - A plan of a city, county or area which establishes zones for different types of development, uses, traffic patterns, and future development.

General Revenue - General sources of income a city collects and receives for public use (e.g. property tax). There are no restrictions as to the use of these monies - often referred to as Discretionary Revenue. General Revenue comprises the General Fund.

GF - See General Fund.

GFOA - Government Finance Officers Association.

GHG - Greenhouse Gas emissions.

GIS - Geographic Information System. A Geographic Information System (GIS) is designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present all types of geographical data. It analyzes the spatial location and organizes layers of information into visualizations using maps. With this unique capability, GIS reveals deeper insights into data, such as patterns, relationships, and situations — helping city departments make better decisions and more effective use of resources.

Goal - An observable and measurable end result having one or more objectives to be achieved within a more or less fixed time frame.

Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) - The body that sets accounting standards specifically for governmental entities at the state and local levels.

Governmental Funds - Self-balancing sets of accounts that are maintained for governmental activities. Financial statements of governmental funds are prepared on the modified accrual basis of accounting and the current financial resource flows method of measurement focus. All of the Town’s funds are in the governmental category. (See Measurement Focus)

GP - General Plan.

Grant - A payment of money, often earmarked for a specific purpose or program, e.g. from one governmental unit to another or from a governmental unit to a not-for-profit agency.

Grievance - An actual or supposed circumstance regarded as just cause for complaint. A complaint or protestation based on such a circumstance.


HEART - Housing Endowment and Regional Trust.

HOA - Homeowners Association.

HR - Human Resources.

HRA - Human Resources Administration.

HVAC - Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning.


ICMA - International City/County Management Association.

Infrastructure - All Town-owned facilities supporting the operation of the government agency. It includes streets, roads, bridges, curbs and gutters, parks, water and sewer lines, storm drains, water pump stations and reservoirs, water wells, sewer lift stations, all government buildings and related facilities.

Interfund Transfers - Monies appropriated from one fund to another fund. This is done to reimburse the fund for expenses or to finance the operation of the other fund.

Internal Service Fund - A fund used to account for the financing of goods or services provided by one department or agency to other departments or agencies of a government on a cost reimbursement basis.

IPM - Integrated Pest Management.

Irrevocable Trust - A type of trust that by its design can't be modified, amended, changed or revoked.

IT - Information Technology.


JPA - Joint Powers Agreement.


LAFCO - Local Agency Formation Commission.

LAIF - Local Agency Investment Fund.

LAO - Legislative Analyst’s Office.

LCW - Liebert Cassidy Whitmore.

Level of Service - Indicator that measures the performance of a system. Certain goals are defined and the service level gives the percentage to which they should be achieved.

Long Term Debt - Debt with a maturity of more than one year after the date of the issue.

LTD - Long Term Disability.


MADD - Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Mandate (Mandated Services) - A legal requirement, usually imposed by State or Federal law. This term is used to refer to Town services, which are provided to comply with State or Federal laws, such as preparation of the City Council Agenda in compliance with the Brown Act.

Maturities - The dates on which the principal or stated values of investments or debt obligations mature and may be reclaimed.

Measure A Fund - Fund used to account for the Town’s per-capita portion of a countywide, voter-approved sales tax increase for improving transit and relieving congestion.

Measure M - Countywide, voter-approved vehicle registration fee, half of which goes to the cities in the county using a pro-rata formula based on population and road miles. The money can be used for pavement resurfacing, pothole repair, signs and striping, traffic signals, street sweeping, storm-inlet cleaning and local shuttles.

Measurement Focus - The accounting convention which determines: (1) which assets and which liabilities are included on the governmental unit's balance sheet; and (2) whether its operating statement presents "financial flow" information (revenue and expenditures) or "capital maintenance" information (revenues and expenses).

Mid-Year - As of December 31st (mid-point of the fiscal year).

Mid-Year Budget Review - Annual process, which occurs in February, where staff analyzes the revenue and expenditures of the Town through the mid-point of the fiscal year (December 31st), projects the data to the end of the fiscal year (June 30th) and presents the information to Council, along with any recommended budget adjustments.

MMANC - Municipal Management Association of Northern California.

Modified Accrual Basis of Accounting - A form of accrual accounting in which (1) expenditures are recognized when the goods or services are received and (2) revenues, such as taxes, are recognized when measurable and available to pay expenditures in the current accounting period.

MOU - Memorandum of Understanding.

MRP - Municipal Regional Stormwater Permit.

MTC - Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

Municipal Code - A book that contains City Council approved ordinances presently in effect. The Code defines Town law in various categories. (See Ordinance)


National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) - A policy set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency, under the 1987 Federal Clean Water Act, imposing regulations that mandate local governments to control and reduce the amount of stormwater pollutant runoff into receiving waters.

Non-recurring Costs - One-time activities for which the expenditure should be budgeted only in the fiscal year in which the activity is undertaken.

Non-spendable Fund Balance - The amounts associated with inventories, prepaid expenses and other items legally or contractually required to be maintained intact.

NorCalHR - Northern California Municipal Human Resources Managers Group.

NPDES - See National Pollution Discharge Elimination System.

NSMCD - North San Mateo County Sanitation District.


OBF - On-Bill Financing.

Objectives - Desired results of the activities of a program.

OES - Office of Emergency Services.

OPEB - Other Post-Employment Benefits.

Operating Budget - A programmatic, financial, and organizational plan for furthering the goals of the City Council through departments of the Town, which does not include capital improvement projects.

Operating Expenses - Expenses incurred as a result of day-to-day operations.

Operational Accountability - Governments’ responsibility to report the extent to which they have met their operating objectives efficiently and effectively, using all resources available for that purpose, and whether they can continue to meet their objectives for the foreseeable future.

Ordinance - A formal legislative enactment by the City Council. It has the full force and effect of law within the City boundaries unless it is in conflict with any higher form of law, such as a State statute or constitutional provision. An ordinance has higher legal standing than a resolution. Adopted ordinances form the Municipal Code. (See Municipal Code)


PCI - Pavement Condition Index.

PCJPB - Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board (Also known as Caltrain Board)

PELRA - Public Employers Labor Relations Association.

PEMHCA - Public Employees Medical and Hospital Care Act.

PERS - Public Employees Retirement System. A pension plan administered by the State of California for government agencies. (Also known as CalPERS).

Performance Measures - Indicators used in budgets to show, for example, (1) the amount of work accomplished, (2) the efficiency with which tasks were completed, and (3) the effectiveness of a program, which is often expressed as the extent to which objectives were accomplished.

Personnel Expenditures - Salaries, wages and benefits paid to employees.

PMP - Pavement Management Plan.

Police Grants Fund - Revenue associated with Police grants that have restricted uses and may be ongoing, for example, SLESF.

POST - Police Officer Standards and Training.

Priority Area - A category of Town services, such as Economic Development, Long Range Financial Plan or Neighborhoods which the City Council selects as an area of focus for staff in the coming fiscal year.

Program - Plan of action aimed at accomplishing a clear objective, with details on what work is to be done, by whom, when, and what means or resources will be used.

Program Revenues - Revenues received by a department as a result of the services or operations of that department (such as user fees), and generally used to finance the related services or programs.

Property Tax - A tax on the assessed value of property. California State Constitution Article XIII A provides that the combined maximum property tax rate on any given property equal to 1% of its assessed value unless an additional amount has been approved by voters for special taxes or general obligation bonds. San Mateo County remits the Town’s share, including all penalties and interest.

Proposed Budget - The working document for the fiscal year under discussion.

PTAF - Property Tax Assessment Fee.

Public Employee Retirement System - See PERS.

Public Safety Grants Fund - Revenue associated with one-time or limited term Police Grants that have restricted uses.

PW - Public Works.


Real Estate Transfer Tax - A tax on the value of property transferred, currently levied at a rate of $0.275 per $500. San Mateo County collects the tax and the Town receives the revenues. Revenues are dependent on how frequently the property is transferred and on the accrued value at the time of transfer.

Records Management System (RMS) - A system that automates the storage of current documents and important records of the Town (documents, agendas, minutes, reports, maps and vital records) to facilitate quick and easy access to these records using software and other technologies.

Request for Proposal (RFP) - Part of a procurement process which is frequently associated with obtaining professional or specialized services or goods. Vendors are invited to respond with a description of services and associated costs. The agency evaluates responses to determine the response which most closely meets the stated needs in a cost-effective manner.

Reserve - An account used to designate a portion of the fund balance as legally segregated for a specific use, i.e., General Fund Reserve.

Reserve Policy - A Council adopted set of principles which establish an appropriate minimum level of reserves and specify how reserves can be used.

Resolution - A special order of the City Council that requires less legal formality than an ordinance in terms of public notice and the number of public readings prior to approval.

Restricted Use Funds - Funds designated for use for a specific purpose.

Revenues - Income from all sources used to pay Town expenses.

RFP - See Request for Proposal.

RHNA - Regional Housing Needs Assessment.

Risk Management - An organized attempt to protect a government’s assets against accidental loss in the most economical method.

RMS - See Records Management System.

ROW - Right-Of-Way.

RWQCB - Regional Water Quality Control Board.


Salaries and Wages - A fixed monthly or hourly sum paid to an employee.

Sales Tax - Taxes assessed on retail sales or leases of tangible personal property in the Town. The Town receives one percent of the 8.25% San Mateo County sales tax.

SAMCAT - San Mateo County Telecommunications Authority.

SamTrans - San Mateo County Transit District.

SB - Senate Bill.

Secured Taxes - Taxes levied on real properties in the Town which are “secured” by liens on the properties.

SFPUC - San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

SLESF - See Supplemental Law Enforcement Services Fund.

SLPP - State-Local Partnership Program.

SMC - San Mateo County.

SMIP - San Mateo County Investment Pool.

Special Revenue Fund - A fund that accounts for the use of revenues that are legally restricted to expenditures for specific purposes.

SSAR - Systemic Safety Analysis Report Program. A grant program established by the State Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in 2016. The purpose of this grant is to study deficiencies in a government agency's roadway network including sidewalks, bike paths, crosswalks, accessibility barriers and streetlights and recommend corrective measures to correct the problems.

SSF – City of South San Francisco.

SSO - Sanitary Sewer Overflow.

STEP - Saturation Traffic Enforcement Program.

STOPP - Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program.

Strategic Plan - Plan of action aimed at accomplishing a clear objective, with details on what work is to be done, by whom, when, and what means or resources will be used.

Strategic Planning - A comprehensive and systematic management tool designed to help organizations assess the current environment, increase effectiveness, develop commitment to the organization’s mission and achieve consensus on strategies and objectives for achieving that mission. The focus is on aligning organizational resources to bridge the gap between present conditions and the envisioned future. The organization’s objectives for a strategic plan will help determine how available resources can be tied to future goals.

Supplemental Assessment - An assessment of real property occurring after the real property lien date of January 1st of each year as a result of new construction or a change in ownership. The San Mateo County Assessor determines the new value of the property based on current market values, and then calculates the difference between the new value and the value set on January 1st.

Supplemental Law Enforcement Services Fund (SLESF) - A component of the Citizens’ Option for Public Safety (COPS) program which provides grants to every city and county and five special districts that provide law enforcement in the State of California. SLESF funds are allocated among cities and counties and special districts that provide law enforcement services in proportion to population, except that each agency is to be allocated a minimum of $100,000. The Town of Colma receives the minimum allocation.

Supplies and Services - Expenditures for materials, supplies and related services which are ordinarily consumed within a fiscal year.

SWAT - Special Weapons And Tactics.


Tax Levy - Amount of tax dollars raised by the imposition of the tax rate on the assessed valuation of property.

Tax Equity Allocation - The amount of property taxes payable to the Town under a special law to assist cities that otherwise would receive low or no property taxes.

TDM - Transportation Demand Management.

TEA - Tax Equity Allocation.

TLC - Transportation for Livable Communities.

TMA - Training Managers Association.

Transportation Grants Fund - Fund used to account for one-time transportation grants awarded by Federal, State and Regional agencies, and the associated expenditures.


UBC - Uniform Building Code.

Unassigned Reserve - The amount of spendable fund balance that is not otherwise appropriated.

Unencumbered Appropriation - The portion of an appropriation not yet expended or encumbered.

Unfunded Capital Project - Capital Projects that are Town priorities but are currently without budgeted funds. Unfunded Capital Projects will be reviewed annually during the Town Budget process to see if funds are available for their design and construction and if these projects are ready to move from the Unfunded Capital Projects list to the Budgeted Capital Projects list.

Unfunded Position - Positions that are authorized but funding is not provided.

Unsecured Taxes - An ad-valorem (value-based) property tax that is the liability of the person or entity assessed for the tax. Because the tax is not secured by real property (such as land) the tax is called "unsecured."

Useful Life - An accounting term defined as the number of years, as set by the IRS, that depreciable business equipment or property is expected to be in use.


Way-finding - Information systems and signage that guide people through a physical environment and enhance their understanding and experience of the area or space.


Year-End - As of June 30th (end of fiscal year).


Budget Adoption

Resolution 2021-15 - Budget Adoption

Please contact the City Clerk for a copy of the resolution at 650-997-8300.

GANN Limit

Resolution 2021-17 - GANN Limit Adoption

Please contact the City Clerk for a copy of the resolution at 650-997-8300

Reasonable Accommodation

Upon request, this publication will be made available in appropriate alternative formats to persons with disabilities, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Any person with a disability, who requires a modification or accommodation to view the document, should direct such a request to Pak Lin, Administrative Services Director, at 650-997-8300 or Please allow two business days for your request to be processed.