FY 2019 budget trims structural deficit
The City Council adopted a budget for basic government services on May 22 that trims $2.4 million in spending to help close the city’s structural deficit for Fiscal Year 2019.
Approved General Fund expenditures for the fiscal year starting July 1 total $162 million, a stand-pat budget that adds no new positions and saves $2.4 million primarily through a three-month freeze on hiring to fill vacant posts, cuts in planned fleet replacements and negotiated savings in personnel expenses through a new labor contract with Hayward firefighters.
The General Fund pays for basic services such as police, fire protection, emergency medical response, maintenance of public property, library services and general administration.
To balance the budget, the city projects needing to draw down by $5.8 million its General Fund Reserve, effectively the city’s savings account. By Council policy, the reserve is supposed to be maintained at 20 percent of budgeted expenditures—or about $32.5 million for FY 2019.
City forecasts project a widening structural deficit with General Fund costs just to maintain current service levels continuing to grow faster than General Fund revenue. To address the shortfall, the city has been surveying voter opinion on potential rate increases in the city hotel tax and real estate transfer tax. To learn more and register your opinion, visit www.HaywardListens.com.