Garden Grove

A close look at city finances

THE GARDEN GROVE City Council will get an update on the city financial picture (Shutterstock).

A look at the city’s finances in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic tops Tuesday’s meeting of the Garden Grove City Council.

A financial update for fiscal year 2020-21 and a report on budget considerations for fiscal years 2021 through 2023 will be presented to the council.

The good news is that – thanks in large part to the 1 cent sales tax authorized by Measure O ­– the 2019-20 fiscal year finished with a surplus. The tax hike brought in an additional $20 million in revenue, compared to the $14 million boost that had been initially projected.

After adjustments are made, there’s a $5 million surplus that can be used to offset an expected revenue shortfall in the 2021-22 fiscal year budget.

Garden Grove received $6.7 million in coronavirus relief funds, but the virus has cost the city an estimated $2.848 million in direct costs and $20 million in lost revenue. The COVID-19’s impact was especially felt hard in the hotels and restaurants in the Harbor Boulevard “Grove District,” with the revenue from transient occupancy taxes (also known as “bed tax”) declining by 80 percent.

Looking at the current year, a shortfall of $5.2 million in that revenue is anticipated.

Helping to keep the city finances on track is the “defunding” of 22 positions in city government for a savings of about $2.1 million. That amount is reached mostly by leaving positions vacant.

Also on the agenda is discussion of adoption of separate resolutions celebrating February as Black History Month and celebrating the Tet Lunar New Year commencing on Feb. 12.

The council will meet via teleconference starting at 6:30 p.m.

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