The City of Desert Hot Springs has been ranked as one of the most fiscally healthy cities in the state of California, according to the California State Auditor. Our ranking was based on several key factors: whether our City can pay its bills, our City’s debt, the City’s reserves, if the City can pay retirement benefits, and more. Desert Hot Springs was labeled “low risk” by the Auditor, which is the best rating.
As of June 2023, the City of Desert Hot Springs had an unaudited Consolidated General Fund balance of $13,468,895. Our anticipated Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) revenue will be 2023 will be $4,522,019; our sales tax revenue will be $2,308,560; our cannabis tax revenue will total $4,522,019, and; our property tax revenue is estimated to be $2,131.540.
Reserves, sometimes known as “Rainy Day Funds”, are meant for accumulating money during good economic times for use in bad times, such as during the Covid 19 crisis or because of a natural disaster or severe downturn in the national or state economy. But healthy reserves also can affect a government’s credit rating, which can impact on how much we pay in interest when we borrow funds, and it impacts on the City’s operating expenses. The City of Desert Hot Springs has an established reserves policy with clear objectives for exactly how much reserve it needs, as well as clearly established criteria for how reserves are spent.
Our City government has prepared the one-year operating budget for FY 2023-2024 and has worked over the last several months to develop a budget that will allow the City to continue providing services to its residents and businesses.
The City’s Consolidated General Fund has a healthy reserve balance for natural or fiscal emergencies. This reserve is in addition to the Emergency Reserve that is funded by cannabis revenues. As your Mayor, I will continue to stress the importance of strong financial reserves, and I will make sure that they are maintained. I will also make sure that financial policies and decisions made by the City continue to be in the best interest of all residents, and will maintain the financial strength of our City.