Six months before the budget comes due in Santa Monica, the City Manager presented his State of the City presentation. In it, he discusses the improvements to city coffers, as well as some of the challenges which remain. 

The good news is that the city is taking in greater-than-expected revenues from hotel taxes and tourism, as the industry recovers. The bad news is that economic growth over the next several years is expected to be “anemic.”

Still, the city has ambitious construction projects underway, including 70 blocks of street resurfacing, 126,000 square feet of side walk repair, and more than $55 million in building construction.


Santa Monica City Manager Rod Gould led a presentation at Monday night’s city budget meeting, updating community members on the state of the city and receiving community input, in advance of City Council’s budget planning next year…

Gould, whose talk comes six months before City Council adopts its budget, began with an economic outlook in which he predicted “a slow economic growth and stubbornly high unemployment rates.” In light of the State of California’s $25-billion deficit, Gould said, “What we worry about is the State taking funds from local governments.” Despite the passage of Prop. 22, which definitely “designed more barriers, so that’s very good, ” Gould continued, “You can see what a fiscal basket case the State is…the State is so craven, they may take the money, it’ll take three years for them to crank it through the courts, so we’re not really out of the woods.” The passage of Prop. 26, he added, will complicate the City’s move to ban plastic bags, designating its fees as taxes that must “go on the ballot, ” and requiring City Council to rework the legislation.

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