Fiscal Update

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On November 6, 2018 voters approved Measure RR by 67.7% supporting a sales tax increase to help fund City services.There are several ways for the community to continue to be involved in the City's fiscal discussions, including:

•City Council consideration of the Fiscal Year 2017-18 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) in December 2018
•Mid-year budget update to the City Council in February 2019
•A community engagement process on the City's budget at the Community Budget Workshop on April 10, 2019, 7 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Building/Senior Center. For more information, go here.
•Various budget public hearings, presentations and City Council adoption of the budget in June 2019



Redwood City residents express that safe neighborhoods, well-maintained parks, quality libraries and afterschool programs all contribute to our high quality of life.

Redwood City is currently facing a growing annual budget deficit, which is projected to reach more than $12 million annually in five years and continue to increase each subsequent year. A deficit of this magnitude will require significant cuts to public safety services, which comprise 60% of our annual budget. This could include reductions to police, fire and paramedics, which could lead to slower 911 emergency response times.

The City is evaluating options for enhancing locally controlled revenues. One option is to place a measure on the ballot to increase our local sales tax rate, which would provide locally controlled funding that could not be taken away by the State and could support essential City services, such as:

  • Protecting the safety of Redwood City residents
  • Maintaining rapid 911 emergency response times
  • Supporting police, fire and paramedic services
  • Continuing library hours
  • Continuing after-school and recreation programs that keep kids safe 

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Informational Handout 

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Fast Facts





On July 23, City Council considered a ballot measure levying a one-half of one percent sales tax (the City of Redwood City Essential Services Protection Measure) for general purposes, subject to voter approval. Council voted that this measure will be placed on the November 2018 ballot. Learn more from the documents and recorded presentation below.

Staff Report

Attachment A: Revenue Options

Attachment B: Budget Reductions Summary



By the Numbers


The City of Redwood City has more retirees receiving pension benefits than active employees contributing towards benefits.

  • All City employees enrolled in the California Public Employee’s Retirement System (CalPERS) are classified as either safety (public safety such as firefighters and police officers) or miscellaneous (all non-sworn personnel).
  • The City has more retirees receiving pension benefits than active employees contributing toward benefits. This is common in California for a city that has been in existence for a long time. Statewide, the population of active employees is declining.

Retiree Pension Liability

Miscellaneous Employees

Safety Employees



Source: 2016 CalPERs valuation for City of Redwood City

  • As of the most recent CalPERS valuation (2016), the City has funded 63% of its pension liability
  • Redwood City has been a leader in the State by proactively addressing pension cost increases. City employees now contribute up to 18% of their salary to help cover their pension. This is among the highest employee contribution rates in the Bay Area region and the State. Redwood City has a three-tier pension system where newer hires receive more modest benefits. Redwood City has also created a local pension trust to help cover future pension liabilities. 


Community input is a critical component of our planning process. Provide feedback as we develop a plan for our community.  

To share your thoughts, please take our survey above, or email us at