City Budget Sessions – Property Transfer Tax Debuts as 3rd Largest Income Source

With the current year budget adjusted upward by over $14 million, the City of Culver City’s budget meetings this week totaled a number of good things going on in regards to income. 

The annual budget meetings for the fiscal year of 2022-2023 that were heard by the City Council this past week on Monday, May 16 and Tuesday May 17, 2022, covered a report from the Chief Financial Officer Lisa Soghor, and separate reports from each city department. A “stronger and faster than expected recovery from COVID” was at the center of many positive reports.

The General Fund Revenue Overview reported a total of $144,878,638 in income. Sales Taxes were the number one source, of income, as they have been in the past,  followed by Business License Taxes and then the RE Transfer Tax coming in unexpectedly in third place.

After being approved by voters on the 2020 ballot, the Real Estate Transfer Tax brought in $17 million, about $15 million more than was projected. The CFO offered that the excess would be recommended to be put in the city’s pension trust fund, “to be used over time to smooth out the city’s pension costs.” Like many small cities, the long term liability of the pension fund is an ongoing challenge in creating the annual budget. 

Soghor noted, “The city started the current fiscal year of 2021-2022 with $108.8 million. Based on revenues  and expenditures, the fiscal year of 2022- 2023 starts with $130.2 million, because of unexpected revenues and reduced expenditures.”

The report states that the projected ending fund balance will see a decrease of $4.3 million, to $129.5 million. Restricted Pension Trust Funds will be used to pay the annual pension cost of $29. 4 million. The remaining fund balance reserves of $81.7 million can, with council approval, be used to balance the budget. Projected ending unrestricted reserves equal 55% of operating expenditures.

“Expenditures are projected to be less than revenue. ” Soghor stated.

Judith Martin-Straw


The Actors' Gang

1 Comment

  1. The city noted in its rushed discussions of the transfer tax that its goal for the new transfer tax was to be about $10M. Since the revenue generated is over 70% of its needs, it’s about time the city recognize the school district’s equally important part in keeping our city a desirable place to move to and raise a family.
    Two-thirds–10K of the 15K–of the parcels in Culver City are residential. We all have heard people who bought here, say, again and again, over the years, that the reason they chose Culver City was because of our school system; not the various local restaurants that come and go or its downtown traffic mitigation. It’s because of our good schools.
    The only thing the city and district now share is a Joint-Use agreement and the city does provide our schools with safety-resource officers.
    It’s time for the city to recognize our schools’ part in keeping our city as a desirable destination for families to live. It could show this by sharing 50% its excess revenue ($3.5M) with the school district–the other governmental agency that has an equal or greater affect on the forces of Supply and Demand and in keeping our local housing prices rising over the years.

    George Laase

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