Burbank's deficit grows more than expected

Weak tax revenues in Burbank have created a larger-than-expected deficit that is now projected to be $2.1 million this year, according to a recent budget report.

Revenue from transient parking, property and retail sales came in at $1.2 million below what had been anticipated, according to the report, creating a larger budget hole that will have to be bridged come the new fiscal year this summer.

Even so, the City Council approved $273,000 in midyear appropriation requests, which will require $122,000 from the city's General Fund, which pays for most public services.

The appropriations include $25,000 to digitize records and $65,000 to backfill funding for a parking control officer who is now serving as the president of the Burbank City Employees Assn.

The association is the only union that has a full-time staff member paid for by the city, an agreement made during labor negotiations more than 20 years ago, officials said.

The city also appropriated $43,000 for the city's Retired & Senior Volunteer Program, which was previously subsidized by a federal grant.

New federal regulations would have required the program to undergo a major overhaul. While officials declined to make the changes, they applied for the grant anyway, albeit without much hope of being successful.

“At this point, we're not expecting that revenue,” said Park, Recreation and Community Services Director Judie Wilke.

To correct the city's recurring structural deficit, department heads have been asked to draft 2% budget-reduction scenarios.

Interim City Manager Ken Pulskamp plans to release next year's proposed budget on May 1 for review.


Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Google+ and on Twitter @atchek.

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