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City of La Palma
7822 Walker Street
La Palma, CA 90623
Ph: (714) 690-3300
Fx: (714) 523-2141
-Aren’t there ways to increase revenues that would save services?
California municipal finance does not leave many ways for cities to raise revenue. Some existing sources of revenue such as the hotel tax and the utility user tax can only be changed by a ballot measure at a regularly scheduled City Council election. Our next election is November 2014. Without redevelopment and tax increment, cities are struggling to finance economic development projects which could increase a city’s tax base. La Palma recently raised fees for the first time in seven years in order to cover a larger share of the costs of services, especially those with limited general benefit. Other revenue proposals include investigating ways to increase advertising and interest earnings, but those sources of revenue are not significant. The City is also looking for ways to provide services to other agencies which could provide additional revenue or for new revenue sources such as a foundation or special district. These proposals take time to develop and analyze and could produce revenue in the future, but no significant short term revenue option exists that would lessen the impact on service levels for FY 2013-14.

FY2013-14 Budget Planning

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1. -Why has the City’s financial situation changed so much?
2. -Weren’t we ok financially before BP/Arco located to La Palma? Why can’t we just cut back to the level of employees and services we provided back then?
3. -Isn’t this a short term problem and once we start getting sales tax from Tesoro and other new businesses we will be financially healthy again?
4. -Doesn’t the City have significant reserves it can use instead of cutting services?
5. -Why don’t employees just accept less in their compensation so that these service reductions are not needed?
6. -I heard that the utility users’ tax was for services which are now being cut, but the tax is being retained. Why is this happening?
7. -Why is closing the funding gap all being done by reducing services to residents, can’t the City close the gap in other ways?
8. -I have heard the City is laying off dispatchers and police officers and contracting police with another agency. Shouldn’t public safety be our highest priority?
9. -How does contracting out services like police dispatch save money?
10. -What is the service impact of contracting out a service or function?
11. -If there is a financial issue, why are we spending money on capital projects instead of on staffing or services?
12. -Aren’t there ways to increase revenues that would save services?
13. -How can I be a part of the conversation on budgets and services?