Budget Presents Opportunity for L.A. to Reinvent How It Does Business, Controller Says

Posted on April 17, 2017 at 12

Galperin calls for forward-thinking approach to capturing revenue, using special funds, managing real estate and procurement

Read the letter here

Los Angeles -- City Controller Ron Galperin issued a letter to Mayor Eric Garcetti and the City Council urging policymakers to consider fundamental reforms to how the City treats emerging categories of business such as short-term home rentals and marijuana dispensaries, as well as a review of the City’s more than 900 special funds.

Galperin counseled policymakers to be prudent in managing expenditures and creative in attracting new revenues and he recommended using special funds to augment the General Fund to provide City services. He issued his letter three days before the Mayor is expected to release a proposed budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year.

“We need to take an innovative, long-term approach to managing our budget in good years and bad, which means a closer look at special funds that account for about a third of our total revenues,” Galperin said. “A tighter budget undoubtedly presents challenges in providing services to our residents and businesses, but also opportunities to reform how we do business as a city.”

In his letter, Galperin called on policymakers to refrain from using one-time revenue sources for ongoing budget needs, to undertake a comprehensive review of special funds to explore ways these restricted sources can be leveraged to provide services to residents and businesses, and to move forward with best practices in managing City-owned real estate, procurement, and the City’s physical and technological infrastructure.

As City Controller since 2013, Galperin has advocated for innovation and a more business-like approach to how Los Angeles manages its resources, provides City services, and provides a hospitable environment for business and entrepreneurship. Galperin’s reports and audits have laid the path for reforms to the City’s management of its 9,000 properties, its incentives for developers to build affordable housing, its police permits for certain categories of businesses, and its franchise agreements with utilities, among other practices.