Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin on March 16 released a report that identified nearly $55 million sitting unspent for years in special funds that the city of Los Angeles could use to ease upcoming budget strain.
Special funds are created to pay for specific projects, including grant programs, capital projects, fee-supported activities and debt service. They are different from the city’s primary budgetary fund, the general fund, which pays for a wide variety of different programs and services.
Galperin found that 187 of the city’s 621 special funds were “idle” because no money had been spent for two or more years. The idle funds contain almost $55 million.
Utilizing special funds to pay for critical expenditures has precedent in L.A. After Galperin identified 123 idle funds with a balance of $28 million in a 2018 report, the City Council closed many of the funds and freed up money for active projects. Now that Los Angeles faces a budget crunch, Galperin recommends reviewing idle funds once again, which have grown in number and cash balance over the past few years.
To view the report, visit lacontroller.org/financial-reports/special-funds-2022.
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