Mayor Robert Garcia and City Manager Pat West unveiled a proposed Fiscal Year 2018 budget Monday that increases spending on police and firefighters, promises almost $60 million in street and infrastructure projects and does it all without any service cuts.
Long Beach’s total budget is more than $2.5 billion, but most of that is in so-called revenue funds like the Harbor Department. Budget debate revolves around the General Fund, which provides most of the visible city services, including police, fire, parks, libraries and public works.
That fund will total $461 million in Fiscal 2018, with about 70% of that amount going to public safety — police, fire and disaster preparedness. The increase in spending from Fiscal 2017 — about 1% — comes primarily from new tax revenue, including the sales tax hike dedicated to public safety and infrastructure. The amount is about $30 million more than the 2017 budget.
“For the fourth year, I’m proud to present a balanced budget,” Garcia said in opening the press conference Monday. “It is fiscally responsible and prudent. It doesn’t overspend while we continue to pay down our pension liabilities.
“We’re investing a significant amount, the most in a generation, in our city’s infrastructure… Because of the support of our voters, we’re growing the police and fire departments, as well.”
Garcia was referring to the Measure A sales tax increase approved last November. Voters passed a 1¢ sales tax hike for the next six years, dropping to a half cent for four more years, with a promise from the mayor…
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