Report details Burbank's financial shape

At the close of last fiscal year, the city still felt the sting of the loss of local redevelopment as the lack of that extra revenue contributed to a 7%, or $9.2-million, drop in tax revenue across the city’s 22 governmental funds, including the General Fund, according to a new report.

However, the effects of the dissolution of redevelopment are “mostly behind the city now,” said Financial Services Director Cindy Giraldo.

“The major impacts of (redevelopment’s dissolution) have been absorbed now by the city and we’re ready to move forward,” Giraldo said.

Overall, the city’s total net assets increased by $3.2 million to $1.45 billion, according to the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report compiled by city staff and released this week. Additionally, the city ended the year with an unassigned General Fund balance of $43.2 million, which includes the city’s reserves.

In June, the city’s unemployment rate was 8.3%, lower than the county and state rates of 10.2% and 8.8%, respectively, according to the report.

Burbank’s office space vacancy rate jumped to 12.5% at the close of last fiscal year, from 9.5% the year before.

Entertainment studios continue to be the city’s largest employers, with the Walt Disney Company having 7,900 employees and Warner Bros. Entertainment with 7,400, according to the report.

The city’s total number of business licenses and permits, however, plunged to 1,005 at the close of last fiscal year, down from 2,000 in 2009, according to the report.

Even so, the city’s housing market showed a “robust” increase in single-family home and condominium prices, the document stated. The median home price jumped from $525,000 in June 2012 to $589,000 in June of this year, while the median condominium price increased from $318,000 to $425,000 during that same period.

Additionally, the city budgeted $47.6 million in capital projects last fiscal year, though some of that amount accounts for multiyear projects, Giraldo said.

They include improvements to municipal facilities, pedestrian access and roadways as well as various projects in the electric, water, wastewater and refuse funds, according to the report.

“(The report) clearly shows we are a very financially strong city and I think that makes us all feel very proud,” said Burbank Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy.


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


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