FY 2017-18 Budget Shortfall

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For 37 years, the City of Palos Verdes Estates has benefited from a voter approved tax to help pay for and maintain essential community services. This tax, approved four times since 1980 provided critically necessary funding for a variety of civic needs including public safety services. For the past 20 years, the parcel tax was specifically dedicated to paying the cost of fire and paramedic services.

At the City’s municipal election on March 7, 2017, the question of extending the parcel tax for 12 additional years was before voters. The tax, which generates approximately $5 million a year, required 66.67% voter approval. The measure received 60% approval and thus failed. Therefore, as of July 1, 2017, the City no longer receives the parcel tax. The parcel tax revenue covered approximately 25% of the entire operating budget for City services.

As a result, the City is undertaking four important initiatives:

  1. Determining expenses/services that can be eliminated. The structural deficit is currently $5 million per year and increasing.
  2. Having an independent, neutral expert evaluate the costs, operations, value, benefits, and efficiencies associated with having a locally controlled Police Department, jail and local dispatch. The study will include an evaluation of alternatives to our local police department such as a contract with the County Sheriff's Department. A report will be publicly available and presented to the City Council by the end of September.
  3. Evaluating whether voters would be receptive to a new ballot measure. And if so what elements would be most important to voters/residents.
  4. Implementing efforts to improve communications and engage residents. In addition to these initiatives, the City Council approved the 2017-18 budget that eliminates several public works projects (e.g., median landscaping at Palos Verdes Drive North and West, and curb and gutter repair), reduces staffing, and lessens weed abatement and tree trimming among a variety of other cost cutting and budget balancing measures.

To obtain broad community input on these issues, the City will be working with the Davenport Institute to develop long-term community engagement efforts. Your ideas are always welcome, contact us in person, in writing and online. 

Conclusion

The City Council seeks community input for determining how to address the budget deficit and for considering new supplemental revenue to carry the City into the future.

The impact of fixing the structural deficit will require difficult decisions that will impact services currently received by residents. Therefore, now, more than ever, it is important that residents engage with the City and participate in the budget process.

If you would like to share any feedback in addition to the public meetings, you may do so through the following:

  • Email: cityclerk@pvestates.org
  • Regular mail: 340 Palos Verdes Drive West, Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274
  • Phone: (310) 378-0383
  • Fax: (310) 378-7820

For more information, please visit and monitor the City’s website at www.pvestates.org. To receive notification of meeting agendas, please sign up on the City’s website at http://www.pvestates.org/how-do-i/sign-up-for-e-notifications.

Service Needs and Budget Limitations Discussion

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