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Finance 101 Report
Lauren Lai, CPA
Carol Bouchard, CGFM
Assistant Finance Director
Monday - Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm
Revenue – Accounts Receivable, Pet Licenses, Business Licenses
735 Pacific Street, Suite A
Monterey, CA 93940
Fax: (831) 655-0562
Redevelopment Agency Dissolution Recognized Obligation Payment Schedule (ROPS)
Welcome to your online guide to the Finance Department. We are responsible for managing and executing all of the financial management functions for the City. Information includes the City's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), City fees and charges, budget data for the current year and prior years, and City ordinances pertaining to the Business License Tax, Visitor Accomodation Facilities Tax, including Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), and Utility Users Tax.
We provide an online version of the Transient Occupancy Tax Return form for those hotel/motel operators who are required to collect and remit transient occupancy taxes to the City.
If you are starting a business in Monterey, the business license application form can be downloaded from this site. A business license tax calculator also is provided to compute the business license tax for you. The specific programs are briefly described below.
Subscribe to City Budget News to keep informed on this season's budget updates.
A new biennial (two-year) budget will be passed by the City Council in June 2019.
Business owners can now apply for their business license using the City of Monterey’s new Online Business License Application. This option will help streamline the process of applying and submitting applications to the Revenue Office . The online application is convenient, the process is easy, and available any time.
August 27, 2018: We are pleased to welcome Ms. Lauren Lai as Monterey's New Finance Director. She is a California Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with 22 years of financial and government leadership experience. Lai was previously Finance Director for the City of Capitola and most recently at the City of Marina. In Marina, she led the City Council and executive team in successfully eliminating a 25% structural budget deficit, while maintaining existing service levels, establishing a 20% general fund emergency reserve and establishing a pension stabilization fund.
In addition to a CPA license, Lai has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from San Jose State University, and is expected to earn a Master in Public Administration from the University of Missouri in 2020. She serves on the League of California Cities Tax and Revenue Policy Committee. For four years, she served as a leader of the Monterey Bay Chapter-California Society of Municipal Finance Officers. She mentors and works closely with California State University of Monterey Bay aspiring accounting students on internships and career guidance.
The Finance Administration section is responsible for the overall management and supervision of the Finance Department divisions and programs discussed below. This section is also responsible for the Purchasing function which includes ensuring compliance with formal bid requirements, processing of all City purchase orders, and development and maintenance of purchasing policies and procedures. In addition, the Budget function falls under the purview of Finance Administration. This includes the coordination of the budget development process, budget control and compliance, developing and publishing of budget reports and documents, long range financial planning and forecasting. Finance works closely with the City Manager for guidance in the coordination of the budget processes and development of budgetary policies and procedures.
The Revenue Division is responsible for the receipt and accounting of all monies received by the City. The following programs are also managed by the Revenue Division. The treasury function entails the daily reconciliation of bank activity, investment of excess funds at reasonable rates while ensuring that funds are available as needed. Business License Administration also falls under the Revenue Division. This entails the enforcement of the business license ordinance on all businesses doing business within the City of Monterey, maintaining accurate records, and annually coordinating the license renewal process.
Dog Licenses are also processed by this office. You can download a dog license form here, in Adobe PDF format.
The Revenue Audit program encompasses both field and mail audits for purposes of verifying business license tax collections, transient occupancy tax, and rental revenue collections. This also involves performing monthly reconciliation with the Accounting Division to verify that all funds are properly debited and credited and that all bank balances are accurate.
The Revenue Collections function is responsible for tracking and collecting the amounts that are due to the City. This involves the maintenance of accurate accounts receivables, disbursement of timely and accurate billings, and following up on collections of past due accounts.
The programs included in this division are General Accounting, Accounts Payable and Payroll Administration.
The General Accounting functions involve the accounting for expenditures, revenues, and other transactions in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, including the preparation of various financial reports and audits.
The Accounts Payable function ensures that all City bills and invoices are paid accurately and in a timely manner, consistent with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
The Payroll Administration function is responsible for the accurate and timely paying of salaries and other benefits to City employees as well as maintaining accurate records pertaining to payroll-related information.
Risk Management is responsible for all property and casualty risk financing, including purchase of insurance; identifying and assessing the City's loss exposure; implementing loss prevention practices; monitoring and enforcing contractor and tenant compliance with City insurance requirements; and adjusting property and liability claims.
The Risk Manager serves as the City's representative to ACCEL, the Authority for California Cities Excess Liability. This is the insurance joint powers authority to which the City belongs, and is the quasi-government organization through which the City finances the majority of its liability exposure.
Risk Management Q&A
Risk Management Policy
How to file a claim against the City
If you allege that the City or its employee has caused damage to your property, you will need to file a Claim Form and provide a receipt, or estimate(s) supporting the amount of damage claimed. It will be your responsibility to get your property repaired; the City's role will be limited to only paying for claims for which it is legally liable.