Los Angeles unlocked $3.6 million in idle funds on Tuesday, by voting to repurpose unused funds approved more than three years ago. The new funds will go toward reducing traffic congestion, paying off loans and programs for seniors.
Los Angeles Controller Ron Galperin said some money could go toward affordable housing, but he also said the newly approved funds are just the tip of the iceberg.
“Now that a plan is in place for these funds, the City can work toward finding solutions for the more than $20 million that remain idle and can be used for neighborhood needs,” Galperin said. Of course, it’s easier said than done, he added.
According to the Controller’s office, Los Angeles has no standardized rules on how to create or use special funds. As a result, tens of millions of dollars that could go toward vital services languish unspent. The special funds report detailing this, and other fund management problems is currently under consideration by the Los Angeles City Council Budget and Finance Committee.
Everyday Angelenos can draw their own conclusions by visiting the Controller’s website, which features easy-to-read charts and graphs that detail the function of different funds, which department controls them and fund balances. Also included online are the Controller’s recommendations on what to do with each remaining idle fund.