An audit of Burbank’s 2017-18 budget found the city is in stable condition should it continue its cost-saving measures.
Cindy Giraldo, the city’s financial services director, gave a financial report to City Council members on Tuesday, detailing Burbank’s financial health during that fiscal year, which resulted in the city having a year-end spendable balance of $19,315.
She said General Fund revenue came in at roughly $170 million, about $4.5 million more than projected. The brighter financial picture was due primarily to the city generating more money through state and county sales taxes, service charges, building permits and a transient parking tax.
Giraldo added that the passage of Measure T in June, which allowed the city to continue transferring up to 7% of Burbank Water and Power’s electric sales to the General Fund, helped boost the city’s finances.
Meanwhile, General Fund expenditures were reported to be about $178.8 million, or approximately $5 million less than what was appropriated for the fiscal year.
However, Giraldo said rising pension costs continue to be a concern for the city. For the 2017-18 fiscal year, Burbank’s pension liability was about $376 million, a jump of about $38 million compared with the previous fiscal year.
To try and address increasing pension costs, Burbank officials implemented a cost-saving policy that includes having all employees pay half of their pension costs and adjusting employee compensation, which officials estimate will save the city about $9 million a year.
In addition, Burbank voters approved Measure P, a three-quarter-cent sales tax that goes into effect April 1 that officials estimate will generate about $20 million annually. Those funds will help pay for infrastructure and pension costs.
Taking all the cost-saving measures and the approval of two ballot initiatives, Giraldo said Burbank is projected to have a $2.7-million General Fund surplus for the 2018-19 fiscal year.
However, with pension costs rising, she said the city expects to have a roughly $300,000 surplus during the 2022-23 fiscal year.