With an estimated $1.6 million shortfall due to COVID-19 related reductions in sales tax receipts in the budget year that ends June 30–and another $3.6 million in coming budget year–the City of South Pasadena late yesterday announced a special meeting of its Finance Commission for Wednesday, April 22, at 9 a.m.
While revenue from property tax, which supplies about half the city’s $28.6 million general fund, is projected to remain relatively stable, the same is not true for sales tax, which brings in about 8 percent, or $2.4 million. “Most of the businesses on Mission Street have closed, and those that can remain open continue to struggle,” the city said in a report to be presented at the meeting.
The estimated shortfall also does not include $3.5 million in losses if citizens reject renewal of the Utility Users’ Tax next November, nor the start of a 20-year amortization of a potential $11 million in added liability due to stock market losses in the state-administered retirement fund, CalPERS.
About 70 percent of the general fund pays for personnel, the city noted. While contracts and supplies will be shaved first, “it will likely be impossible to achieve the required level of budget cuts without exploring salary reductions and reductions” in the number of employees.
In addition to force reductions, the city is also considering options such as across the board salary reductions and amendments to cost of living increase agreements.
South Pasadena has transitioned to virtual public meetings in response to the COVID-19 crisis. During the meeting, Commissioners and City staff will participate remotely. City facilities will not be open to the public. The virtual meeting will adhere to the updated Brown Act provisions for public meetings set forth by the legislature in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
A link to the live web stream will be posted to the City of South Pasadena’s homepage and social media prior to the beginning of the meeting, which will be conducted as a publicly broadcast video conference between staff and the commissioners only. Members of the community can still participate and view the meetings through the following channels:
The city provided for a public comment mechanism, but there was only a 24-hour window after the announcement and the deadline for comment, which was 5 pm April 21. However, for the City Council meeting last week, late comments were still included in the documents the city posted as part of the meeting record.
All meetings will continue to be broadcast live on Spectrum/TWC Channel 19 and AT&T Channel 99 for cable customers who reside in the City.
Comments are accepted via email: FCPublicComment@southpasadenaca.gov
and must be formatted as follows:
- Subject Line: Indicate Meeting Date and Agenda Item or indicate if it is a General Public Comment (4/13/2020, Agenda Item #10)
- Include your name and address
- Public Comment in the body of the email
- Comments should be in accordance with the City’s Council Statement of Civility: We treat each other, members of the public and city employees with patience, civility and courtesy as a model of the same behavior we wish to reflect in South Pasadena for the conduct of all city business and community participation.