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Read the complete fiscal impact analysis here


What is the General Fund?

The General Fund is the City’s unrestricted source of revenues and expenditures. The General Fund supports all departments and more than 50% of the City’s total personnel costs. Community Services, Library Services, Planning and Community Preservation, and the Police and Fire Departments are all dependent on the General Fund for their operations.

In addition to the General Fund, the City has Restricted Funds. Any services that cannot be funded with Restricted Funds must be funded with General Funds. Restricted Funds, as the term implies, may only be used for specific, restricted purposes. Restricted Funds are not available to be used for any purpose the City Council desires. Examples of Restricted Funds include: Gas Tax, Proposition A, Proposition C, Water Revenue, Sewer Revenue, and grant funding that cannot be used to fund anything other than what the grantor designates. Some Restricted Fund uses are designated by the voters (Gas Tax, Proposition money); while other Restricted Funds can only be used for the purpose for which they are collected (Water or Sewer Funds). For example, Water Funds, collected on residents’ bi-monthly water bills, cannot be utilized to fund the purchase of a fire engine or funding of police services; these funds can only be used for water utility related purposes. 

General Funds can be used for any municipal purpose. General Funds can be used for the general operations of the City and to fund basic City services such as Police, Library, Fire, and Recreational services. The City Council has the most discretion regarding how these funds are used because the funds can be used for any municipal purpose the City Council designates. Examples of revenue sources for General Funds include: Property Taxes, UUT, Sales Taxes, Fees, and Business Licenses. Sierra Madre is dependent upon Property Taxes and UUT for more than 83% of its General Fund revenues, unlike other cities that receive more revenues from Sales Taxes. Sierra Madre only receives 4% of General Fund revenues from Sales Taxes. 

General Fund Revenue Chart


The UUT and the General Fund

The UUT currently makes up 24% of the General Fund's revenues.

Cutting Costs

Despite the actions of City Council to reduce costs to balance the General Fund budget each year, the inflationary growth of expenditures has continued to outpace the growth in City revenues.

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