The Long Beach City Council will hold a special meeting Wednesday to vote on a proposed $95 million budget that could carry a 12.3 percent tax hike.
City Council members must approve by Wednesday any changes to reduce the tax hike. If they do not, the proposed budget and double-digit tax hike will become permanent for the next year.
The tax increase represents a $4.5 million deficit that needs to be closed to maintain current services, officials said. The proposed tax hike would cost Long Beach homeowners an average of $400 more a year.
City Council members have not proposed any cuts to jobs or services.
“The City Council is working tirelessly to try to craft a financially responsible budget that is fair to the taxpayers,” City Council Vice President Chumi Diamond said. “I remain committed to making the tough decisions necessary to ensure that the city has a comprehensive fiscal plan going forward.”
City Council members have said during past meetings that they would like to reduce overtime and require reimbursement for expenses related to special events, such as festivals.
Council members will also vote on the city’s $4 million capital improvement plan for the next fiscal year that starts July 1 and to schedule a hearing June 19 to consider requiring special event organizers to cover their costs.
Acting City Manager Michael Tangney at a May 15 public hearing gave a presentation of the city’s biggest budget items, including city-operated day care, employee health care contributions, the paid fire department, the police department and special events. He said city health care costs and salaries account for nearly half the budget. He suggested increasing city revenue by adding parking meters.
Residents have said that City Council members and city management should sacrifice salaries and raises.
The City Council voted May 15 to exceed the city’s 2.65 percent tax cap.
The meeting is set for 7 p.m. on the 6th floor of Long Beach City Hall.