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LA controller to city officials: You aren’t spending enough

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(The Center Square) – The city of Los Angeles’ controller had a message for city officials: you aren’t spending enough.

The controller put out a recent report for 2023 that said while spending has increased 35% over the past six years, the city isn’t spending all of its revenues.

“The City is not spending what it is budgeting for which means less services, resources, and infrastructure are being provided for Angelenos,” the controller’s October report stated.

The city’s General Fund reserves were at a record-high 11.1% in FY 2023, exceeding the city’s goal of 10%.

The city’s revenues have increased from $8.08 billion in Fiscal Year 2017 to $10.87 billion in FY 2023. Federal COVID emergency funding has meant more money for the government. The city received a combined $1.3 billion in CARES and ARPA funding in FY 2021 and $639.5 million in additional ARPA grant funds in FY 2022.

While the city had $10.87 billion in revenues, it had $10.56 billion in expenditures in FY 2023.

Sheila Weinberg, founder and CEO of Truth in Accounting, called the controller’s report “woefully incomplete.”

“It only includes budgeted amounts and actual expenditures, which are the checks written by the city, not all of the costs incurred,” Weinberg said in an email to The Center Square. “It does not include the city’s assets or liabilities, including unfunded pension liability.”

The city reported a net pension liability of $3.6 billion in FY 2022.

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