2018 Preliminary Financial Report
A first look at the City’s financial performance in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018
In May 2017, the City Council approved a budget of $9.29 billion for the fiscal year from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.
The Preliminary Financial Report provides data and analysis of the City’s revenues and expenditures for the 2017-18 fiscal year. It details where the City’s budgeted funds came from and how they were spent, in addition to information about the City’s debt, reserves and more.
To learn more, you can read the report, explore the data through our interactive data visualizations, or download the data and take a look for yourself.
One of the City Controller’s main responsibilities is to analyze and report on the City’s finances. The reports produced by the Controller serve to inform City officials and the general public about the City’s financial activities and financial status. They also aim to initiate meaningful reflection and debate about the City’s fiscal management.
The Preliminary Financial Report, made available each fall after the City’s books are closed, is the first of these reports. It provides information on how the City spent its funds over the past fiscal year, featuring data and analysis regarding the City’s revenues and expenditures, the Reserve Fund, the Budget Stabilization Fund, and the City’s bonded indebtedness.
More complete and detailed information, presented in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP), will be published in the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) later this year.
During the 2017-18 fiscal year, revenue grew by 3.4% in the General Fund and 4.1% in budgeted special funds. This was led by all-time high receipts from Property Tax, Business Tax, Sales Tax, and Transient Occupancy Tax. Combining General Fund and Special Fund revenue, total revenue increased by 3.6% over 2016-17.
View our interactive data visualization to explore the relative size of the City’s revenue sources and their growth over the past ten years.
Total expenditures grew as well, at a rate of 3.6%, due in large part to salaries and benefits, which accounted for $218 million of the $294 million increase in total expenditures. Expenditures are projected to continue growing at the current pace or more, with open employment contracts for many City employees as well as projected increases in health care costs and retirement contributions.
Our interactive data visualization compares the expenditures of the City’s different departments, as well as non-departmental expenditures, over the past ten years. View total expenditures, salaries, other expenditures, descriptions of each item, and the change of each item over time.
Reserve Fund and Budget Stabilization Fund
It is crucial that the City build up reserve funds during years of strong growth in order to prepare for future downturns. In the last ten fiscal years, with a combination of strong revenue growth and fiscal restraint, the City’s combined reserves (the Reserve Fund and the Budget Stabilization Fund) rose from 3.4% to its 9.4% peak in 2015-16, but has since declined to 7.2% of the 2018-19 Adopted General Fund Budget.
The Reserve Fund is established to ensure that funds are available for unanticipated expenditures and revenue shortfalls in the General Fund. The City’s Reserve Fund Policy sets a goal for the Reserve Fund of at least 5% of the General Fund budget every year.
On July 1, 2018, the Reserve Fund had a balance of $345.8 million, 5.59% of the 2018-2019 budget General Fund revenue and $36.2 million above the 5% the Reserve Fund Policy goal.
Budget Stabilization Fund
The Budget Stabilization Fund (BSF) was added to the City Charter in 2011. The purpose of the BSF is to set aside funds when revenue projections are exceeded to help smooth out years when revenue is stagnant or is in decline. In the fiscal year 2018, the BSF grew slightly to $96.4 million but stayed about flat as a percentage of General Fund revenues. For the 2019 fiscal year, the adopted budget set aside $9 million to be deposited into the BSF.
Click the chart below to view the performance of the Reserve Fund and Budget Stabilization Fund, both in dollar terms and as a percentage of budgeted General Fund revenues. You can also download the data in the Data section below.
The City’s Debt Management Policy establishes guidelines for the structure and management of the City’s debt obligations. These guidelines include a non-voter-approved debt service cap of 6% and a total debt service cap of 15% as a percent of General Fund revenues.
The City’s total indebtedness and debt service obligations have been on a downward trend since the fiscal year 2012, reflecting lack of any new General Obligation Bond (GOB) issuances and the refinancing of higher rate bonds at the prevailing low-interest rates. View the data by clicking on the link to the left, or download it to take a look yourself by clicking on the link in the Data section below.
Click the links below to download the raw data. The Excel files are formatted for easy viewing, whereas the CSV files are formatted for easy uploading into other platforms.
For additional data on the City’s finances and much more, visit the Controller’s open data portal at ControlPanelLA.
Preliminary Financial Report Exhibits and Schedules
|Revenues, fiscal years 2008-2018||Excel||CSV|
|Expenditures, fiscal years 2008-2018||Excel||CSV|
|Reserve Fund and BSF (year-beginning values), fiscal years 2010-2019||Excel||CSV|
|Debt, fiscal years 2009-2018||Excel||CSV|