city controller ron galperin
Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin. Photo via lacontroller.org

Los Angeles Controller Ron Galperin warned Thursday that the city’s budget during the next fiscal year will not have one-time federal funding that created new programs aimed at building equity and alleviating homelessness.

“The pandemic hit the economy and our neighborhoods hard last year, putting the city in a financial bind,” Galperin said. “Cost-cutting measures and federal funding helped Los Angeles get back on solid ground, but there are tough budget choices ahead. The city created a number of homelessness and equity programs with funds that won’t be there next year, making it necessary to understand whether they’ve achieved their goals.”

Galperin said that the 2021-22 fiscal year budget — which will end on June 30 — uses $300 million from the federal government and $70 million that was diverted away from the Los Angeles Police Department, but the 2022-23 fiscal year budget will not include those extra dollars.

Galperin added that the city is expecting employment costs may increase, as well, as the city’s workforce is scheduled to receive raises and the city will be negotiating new labor contracts.

He encouraged the city to focus on collecting more revenue and to limit its spending while officials look for a better use of special funds to improve L.A.’s finances.

In addition to warning about the next fiscal year, Galperin released a report on the city’s finances during the 2020-21 fiscal year, which ended last June. According to the report, city revenues rose by 5.2% to $18.4 billion, which the controller attributed to increased amount of taxes collected, including on property and sales.

Howevere, revenue in the city’s operating fund, called the General Fund, decreased by 1.3%, but it still out-paced expenditures by $375.5 million.

The city’s expenses, meanwhile, rose by 4.8% to $17.3 billion. Galerpin noted that the increase was less than the previous year’s increase, when expenses rose by nearly 10%.

People can explore Galperin’s new online dashboard showing how the city’s finances were used that year at: bit.ly/3H2RY2J.

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