Corona Balances Budget With Transparency

Staff Reports

Corona – The City of Corona was happy to announce a balanced budget while utilizing the Balancing Act and the Tax Payer Receipt that Corona employs in a citywide coordinated effort to provide a greater transparency and to foster an environment of openness regarding the innerworkings of local government.

“The basic gist is that Corona is trying to move towards data-driven metrics to help make more informed decisions about day to day city operations and how resources should best be allocated,” said Assist City Manager Michele Nissen. “In the private sector businesses do this all the time. Businesses analyze performance metrics to determine how/where/when they need to tweak your business model to yield the maximum return.”

The Balancing Act shows detailed information on where the city budget money comes from and where it’s allocated to. The Tax Payer Receipt will calculate your annual taxes so you can prepare financially. Both, in complete detail, can be found on the city’s website BALANCING ACT: http://coronaca.abalancingact.com/adopted-budget-fiscal-year-2018-19-general-fund. The TAX PAYER RECEIPT:  http://coronaca.abalancingact.com/taxreceipt

The City of Corona’s fiscal year begins July 1 and ends June 30 of the next year.  The annual process to develop the budget for the coming fiscal year typically begins in January and starts with a series of public workshops and meetings culminating with adoption in late June.  Through a public process, the adopted budget commits financial resources to a multitude of services and programs that the City provides. In other words, the adopted budget commits funding to what we do, and it works to legally limit funding as well.

All City services and the cost of providing services can be organized and tied back to one of 6 key service areas which together, influence the quality of life in Corona.  The 6 key service areas are: Citywide Internal Support; Community and Economic Development; Infrastructure, Maintenance and Open Space; Leisure and Culture; Public Safety and Emergency Response; and Utilities and Transportation.

The Fiscal Year 2018-19 Adopted Budget and Capital Improvement Plan establishes the City’s authorized spending limits for a variety of City services and programs, funded by multiple revenue sources, as well as for a host of capital improvement and/or multi-year projects.  Multi-year projects are budgeted separately from the operating budget because these projects do not occur every year.

The city encourages the citizens of Corona to utilize the tools that Corona has pioneered to engage the community in the budget process and provide a deeper understanding of how our resources are allocated and planned.  These tools were specifically designed with public engagement, education and transparency at heart.

“We are taking the best practices of the private sector and utilizing them in a local government application,” added Nissen. “This is a really new concept in local government operations.  People tend to think funding is available because we get sales tax and property tax dollars, but with the state shifting more and more responsibility down to the local level, taking away funding, and CalPERS pension obligations increasing, all local governments are looking for innovative ways to stretch $1 and get more out of less.  The data allows us to identify operational efficiencies and change our processes to maximize the return and increase efficiency.”

For questions about the budget documents, please contact Kerry Eden at 951-736-2315 or email Kerry.Eden@CoronaCA.gov.
About the City of Corona: Corona is located adjacent to Orange County California at the junction of the 91 and 15 freeways with a population of more than 160,000 residents. For more information regarding the City of Corona visit www.CoronaCA.gov.

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