City Finances, Economic Growth, and City Services

Fostering Economic Growth to Enhance City Services

Attracting and retaining Burlingame businesses is key to our city’s long term future, vitality, and strong fiscal position.

I have worked to attract businesses to Burlingame including Tesla, Fiat, and Virgin America to the Bayshore, while also attracting local businesses to Broadway and Burlingame Avenue, so that increased city revenues will allow Burlingame to deliver the city services expected by our residents.

Transient Occupancy Tax is the City’s largest revenue source. It accounts for 33% of our General Fund. Burlingame has 13 major hotels that generate the bulk of TOT revenue. TOT revenue has grown from $13.4 million in FY 11 to $15 million today.

Sales Tax makes up approximately 18% of our General Fund. Out top retailers include the auto dealers and the Apple Store. Our sales tax revenue declined from 2008 to 2010 in parallel with the economic downturn, but rebounded in 2011, and in 2012 generated $8.5 million.

Property Tax is our 2nd largest revenue source. It makes up approximately 30% of our General fund. In 2012 it brought in 13.8 million.

Our General Fund Reserves are healthy. Approximately 35% of our operating expenses are in reserve. Burlingame has also maintained a high AA credit rating, exhibiting the city’s financial strength and stability.

With the economic recovery, City Revenues have risen the past two years, enabling maintenance of essential city services. I have been a strong proponent in establishing reserves to cushion any future shortfalls. In order to ensure the city’s long term financial strength, economic development will play a key factor.

Fiscal Strength Through Economic Development. Throughout my time on Council, I have focused on making city more attractive to businesses and helpful in working with businesses. We have made operational improvements in the Building Division to improve customer service; we have brought on a part-time economic development specialist and business ambassador to attract new businesses to the city; we have been successful in retaining businesses and attracting new corporations to the Bayshore.

Our collective work has enabled Burlingame to now have a strong reputation among business leaders as a great place to locate and do business. Ongoing efforts to improve the City’s business and development climate brings revenue to support quality services for our residents.