The City of West Hollywood has proposed a $128 million dollar budget — over $3,500 per resident — for the fiscal year that starts in July and runs through June 2018. Compared to the current budget, more money would go to day-to-day operations (over $121 million) and less to longer-term capital projects (over $6 million). That is according to a new report by WeHo By the Numbers based on city data.
Taxes and other revenues are expected to cover $125 million of the $128 million in spending. The remaining $3 million will come from reserves (money the city saved up in prior years).
The city’s biggest source of revenue is the transient occupancy (hotel) tax. It provides over 20% of total revenues. The city expects to collect about $26 million in hotel taxes in the coming fiscal year. Other big sources of revenue include property taxes ($17 million), sales taxes ($16 million) and parking meters fees and fines ($13 million).
About half of the budget ($61 million) is for contracted services such as those from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department . Most of the rest goes to pay the city staff ($38 million), make payments on the city’s debt ($13 million), and cover all other operating costs ($9 million). The budget also includes $6 million for capital projects, which involve buying, building or repairing major assets.
Each city division has its own budgeted amount. The biggest-spending division pays for the sheriff’s contract. It has a proposed budget of $570 per resident. The next biggest amounts are for the city’s facilities ($330), parking ($310), social services and transit ($305) and streets and sewers ($220).
The report uses budget increases to quantify the city’s priorities. In the proposed budget, increases are clustered in areas such as:
• Public safety, including a $750,000 increase in sheriff’s staffing costs, $135,000 for more patrols by sheriff’s deputies, $100,000 for more security ambassadors, and $635,000 for increased security at Pride and Halloween.
• City facilities, including $1.2 million for improvements to City Hall, money for the Coast Playhouse and temporary office space at Koontz and $150,000 for micro-parks.
• Social services and transit, including a $325,000 increase in social services grants, $125,000 for a mental health professional teamed with a sheriff’s deputy, $100,000 for a new community needs assessment and money for a Sunset Boulevard entertainment district shuttle pilot.
• Planning, including $200,000 for urban design reviews, $100,000 for single-family housing design guidelines, more funding for historic preservation efforts and $300,000 for Sunset Strip improvements.
• Economic development, including a new arts grant coordinator, increased support for special events and a $750,000 increase in funding for Visit West Hollywood, the city’s visitor and tourism organization.
To find out more, see the full report, How big is West Hollywood’s proposed 2018 budget?