Fiscal Update Archives

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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, email us at


FY 2018-19 Recommended Operating Budget

FY 2018-2023 Recommended Capital Improvement Program (CIP)

FY 2017-18 Mid-Year Budget Update and Proposed Process for Development of the FY 2018-19 Budget Staff Report

FY 2017-18 Mid-Year Budget Update and Proposed Process for Development of the FY 2018-19 Budget Staff Presentation

FY 2017-18 Budget Message

2017 Pension Presentation

2017 Pension Staff Report

League of California Cities Report

CalPERs Pension Facts at a glance

CalPERs at a glance

Redwood City Sales Tax Newsletter

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Informational Handout 

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Fast Facts