We Want Your Input on the City’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2016

The City of Long Beach has an annual budget of approximately $2.7 billion. The vast majority of the City’s resources are designated, by law, for certain purposes. The only portion of the budget that is completely discretionary is the General Fund, which accounts for only 15 percent ($412 million for recurring costs) of the total budget. The General Fund provides much of the resources for critical City Services, including police patrol, fire response, parks and recreation, library services, and streets and sidewalks.

Following nearly a decade of reductions and deficits, the General Fund is again expected to experience a modest surplus of $0.6 million in FY 16. However, budget deficits will return beginning in FY 17. To help ensure that Long Beach continues along the road of maintaining services and financial strength, the proposed budget preserves the temporary surplus to prevent and minimize future shortfalls in FY 17 and beyond.

Though no reductions are proposed for FY 16, the budget continues to follow the “proportionate share” approach, which requires departments to maintain their respective percentages of the General Fund. This approach ensures that our Public Safety Departments receive the majority of the General Fund resources each and every year (69%), while keeping funds to pay for all the other valuable services for our residents such as parks, libraries, sidewalks, code enforcement, animal control, and support services. Any and all operational changes advanced by departments must be offset by new revenues or through cost savings realized through efficiencies in other areas.

Public input is an important and valued part of the budget preparation process. As such, we invite you to share your thought with us. There are two ways to do to this online:

• Long Beach Budget Challenge
• Long Beach Budget Priority Survey

Long Beach Budget Challenge

The Long Beach Budget Challenge is an interactive simulation that lets you balance the City’s budget. You decide how much to spend for public works, libraries, parks and recreation, public safety, and other City services – and how to pay for them.

The Budget Challenge will give you a general perspective of the budget process and its difficulties, as well as help you understand how your preferences impact other service areas. Since no budget reductions are required for FY 16, the Long Beach Budget Challenge has been formatted to allow participants the opportunity to change the current appropriation of General Fund resources through the selection of various theoretical budget scenarios. For each department, or group of departments, participants can keep services as they are (status quo) or choose to enhance or reduce services by two or five percent of the department’s budget. Participants are also given the choice of increasing revenues if they want enhanced services in one or more departments, but do not want to reduce services in other departments.

You will be able to see how your choices compare to those of other participants. The cumulative results of the Long Beach Budget Challenge will be reviewed as part of the budget development process. However, the results should not be considered to be representative of the public at large since the Budget Challenge is not a formal survey.

Start the Long Beach Budget Challenge now

Long Beach Budget Priority Survey

The Long Beach Budget Priority Survey will allow you to identify the importance of various City services that are funded in large part by the General Fund, and are not fully offset be fees or fines. For each service listed, you will be asked to tell us whether the service is very important, somewhat important, not very important, not at all important, or that you have no opinion (or are unsure).

Like the Long Beach Budget Challenge, the cumulative results of the Long Beach Budget Priority Survey will be reviewed as part of the budget development process. However, the results should not be considered to be representative of the public at large since the Budget Priority Survey is not a formal survey.

The Long Beach Budget Priority Survey is also available in a printed form. The printed form will be distributed at various community budget meetings and will be available in English, Spanish, Khmer, and Tagalog.

Start the Long Beach Budget Priority Survey now

Read the Fiscal Year 2016 Proposed Budget
Use OpenLB to explore the Fiscal Year 2016 Proposed Budget

 
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