L.A. City Finances Strengthen; Challenges Remain

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Los Angeles -- L.A. Controller Ron Galperin today released the City’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for Financial Year 2017, detailing the state of the City’s bottom line, while outlining challenges that may be on the horizon. Concurrently, the Controller published an interactive Community Financial Report transparently detailing how taxpayer dollars are spent. Both can be explored at cfr.controlpanel.la.

Since the Great Recession, the City has experienced relatively strong economic growth, which has generated upticks in revenues. However, growth appears to be plateauing due to a more stable economy - after averaging more than 4% over the past five years, total City revenue increased by just under 2% in FY 2017.

Challenges noted in the financial report include the extent to which the City relies on hundreds of Special Funds to fund the City’s bottom line - as contrasted with General Fund revenues which can be expended with greater flexibility. The CAFR also notes that future pension costs could be impacted by any stock market dips.

“There remains a clear need to examine our many special funds to determine how they can best be utilized to achieve the City’s priorities, such as investing in vital infrastructure projects my office has previously highlighted,” Controller Galperin said. “Our City’s fiscal state is stable but not without its share of challenges. These can be addressed, and I remain optimistic that with strong leadership and innovative solutions, we can continue the progress we have made.”

The Community Financial Report charts the City’s General Fund, assets and liabilities and graphs departmental activity, such as data about how many tons of recyclables were collected, per capita water usage, library cards issued, number of emergency responses by the L.A. Fire Department and more. The data is in line with the Controller’s mission of upgrading the level of transparency, trust and transformation throughout Los Angeles.

To explore the CAFR and the interactive Community Financial Report, visit cfr.controlpanel.la.