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Langley’s budget outlook improves

City revenues are starting to recover after four months of red ink.

At the council’s last regular meeting, City Treasurer Debbie Mahler said sales tax revenues were improving — which is good news for Langley’s general fund, the fund that pays for government services such as police, parks and city hall.

The general fund had a negative balance from the start of the year through April.

The city covered the gap between expenditures and revenues by tapping an interfund loan.

Langley had a negative balance of $7,985 in the general fund in March, and a negative balance of $300 in April.

Along with sales tax receipts, real estate excise taxes and building permit revenues have also picked up slightly, Mahler said.

“Things are beginning to improve and are looking up,” Mahler said.

Revenues historically fall below expenditures at the start of each year, given that some bills — insurance for the city, for example — is paid all at once at the start of the fiscal year, and the largest single revenue stream for the city, property taxes, are not due until the end of April.

Langley has a general fund budget of $1.3 million for 2011.

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