Obviously it wasn’t quite as bad as the voters were told…
Burbank’s financial forecast for the upcoming 2019-20 fiscal year and the next four years have been the best figures the city has seen in some time.
Although the General Fund is projected to have a surplus over the next five fiscal years, Cindy Giraldo, the city’s financial services director, told the council members during a study session last week that the city needs to remain proactive and pay down its rising pension costs before they get out of hand.
During the upcoming 2019-20 fiscal year, Giraldo said the General Fund is expected to have a roughly $5.5-million surplus, which is a significant improvement compared to a deficit of about $185,000 forecast for the 2018-19 fiscal year.
Remember all the pre-election panic?
Should finances continue on a positive path for the city, the General Fund is expected to have a surplus of approximately $3.1 million during the 2023-24 fiscal year.
That’s due, in part, to several factors, with one being the approval of Measure T, which Burbank voters approved in June and allowed the city to continue transferring $12.5 million from Burbank Water and Power’s gross annual sales of electricity to the General Fund.
Arguably the most significant factor that has helped boost Burbank’s General Fund was the passage of Measure P in November, which is a three-quarter-cent sales tax that went into effect this month and is expected to generate about $20 million annually to help pay for overdue infrastructure maintenance projects and pension costs.
Yes, but sizeable surpluses already? Right away?
While unfunded infrastructure needs will soon be addressed through the sales tax, Giraldo said the city needs to come up with additional initiatives to ensure that the General Fund stays in the black.
She suggested city officials look into a parking-management plan or consider paid parking to generate money to help with parking enforcement and pay for parking infrastructure.
Does this mean parking meters in Burbank? To subsidize the older city employees’ ridiculously low pension contributions?
Past city councils would always put the kibosh on any idea of installing parking meters on our Burbank streets. Let’s see what happens now.