The City of Sacramento is one of many
California cities to put a general sales tax measure on
the ballot to bring in much-needed revenue for local
projects. Voter approval to renew or raise local sales
tax has given some cities a sustained source of revenue to
maintain critical services, invest in local infrastructure, and
create additional amenities for the community.
Graffiti destroys property, costs cities hundreds of thousands of
dollars each year, and can blight entire communities. To address
graffiti issues, the City of Escondido created a custom
designed smartphone app to crowdsource information from the
community to help keep their city clean and free of
California cities have been on the front lines for nearly a year
taking action to protect their residents and businesses and
maintain the delivery of essential city services, despite
unplanned expenses and revenue shortfalls brought about by the
pandemic. Three California city managers reflect on the past year
and how on earth one manages a city budget with so much
uncertainty, and so little support from the state and federal
The coronavirus recession has eroded city budgets in many ways,
leaving many tax revenue streams damaged and lasting impacts
on cities that will continue to cut deep in the fiscal year
ahead. As local governments grapple with the revenue loss and
spending increases associated with the pandemic, it’s important
to review the trends and forecasts of the revenue streams upon
which a city most heavily relies and adjust accordingly.
Referendum is a power granted to voters, essentially allowing the
electorate to put statutes adopted by legislative bodies to a
vote of the people. However, the recent California Supreme Court
decision in Wilde v. City of Dunsmuir held that water
rates are not subject to referendum, making this an
important win for public utilities and local governments, and
boosting stability in local finance.
While our local leaders have lofty aspirations for an equitable
recovery, they also recognize that our hopes and dreams cannot be
accomplished without a strong local-state-federal partnership.
2021 will be a year when we will need to fight for our cities
more than ever before. Working side by side with the
inspiring local officials leading our communities, the League of
California Cities remains committed to helping cities meet these
challenges head on in 2021.