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Budget and Financial Planning

  • The City's budget provides a framework for delivering essential services and provides accountability and transparency regarding the public's financial resources. The annual budget runs from July 1 through June 30. The budget process complies with Oregon budget law and is guided by key principles.

    Budget definitions
    • City Budget Shortage
    • Budget Process
    • Key Principles
    City Budget Shortage

    The City Council, City Manager and staff are working to address an anticipated $13.3 million budget shortage over the next two years, made worse by COVID-19.

    Since 1990, the General Fund gets 24 cents of every $1 in property taxes. In 1990, property taxes covered 100% of police and fire services. Today, they cover less than half.

    City Manager Sept. 15 budget presentation

    City Council Sept. 22 policy meeting

    What we’re doing

    • To prepare, the City eliminated 26.8 positions in 2019 to save more than $3.2 million. Employees absorbed the extra work to keep service levels to the public steady.
    • Thanks to the generosity of the Portland mayor and City Commission, Gresham received $3.94 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. It will reimburse some of our unanticipated COVID-19 related expenses.
    • In 2020, the City reduced general fund and Police, Fire and Parks fund expenses by an additional $2.7 million, including eliminating 10 positions. Additional reductions are being implemented in other areas of the City, which will result in a total reductions over the past two years of more than $12 million.
    • On Oct. 6, 2020, Council voted on temporary solutions to bridge a portion of the City’s budget gap, including:
      • Reallocating one-time use of funds from the community service fee, paid to the City by Enterprise Zone companies, to keep General Fund services stable.
      • Temporarily increasing the Police, Fire and Parks Fee from $7.50 per month to $15. Currently the fee does not cover the cost of these essential services, leaving the City with a deficit.

    What’s next?

    •  City Council plans to begin conversations with the community to explore a potential 2021 general levy to take to the voters to fund public safety and/or parks. Should a levy pass, the Police, Fire and Parks Fee could be retired.
    • The City is exploring options for enhancing our utility assistance.
      Budget Process
      • Process design/financial forecasting study (July - November)
      • Develop budget proposals and Capital Improvement Plan (November - January)
      • Balance funds/finalize proposed budget (February - March)
      • Budget Committee deliberations (April - May)
      • Council adopts budget and Capital Improvement Plan (June)
      • Budget implemented (July 1)
      Key Principles
      • Protect and preserve essential services that impact daily lives and property values.
      • Enhance fiscal sustainability through multi-year financial planning and decision-making.
      • Support aggressive pursuit of investment and employment for community prosperity and fiscal health.
      • Position the organization for the future.
      • Support adopted Council Work Plan and governance process.