Working from a Position of Strength

The City of Irvine in 2019, for a third straight year, has been ranked No. 1 in fiscal strength. The Truth in Accounting ranking of America’s largest 75 cities calculated how a city would fare financially after all the bills are paid. Irvine was given a surplus score of $4,400 per taxpayer, earning the distinction as the most fiscally healthy large city in the United States. For the report from the think tank that analyzes government financial reporting, go to: Truth in Accounting.

Besides the responsible fiscal management that determined the No. 1 distinction, Irvine is one of only 12 cities with a surplus score. The report also comes at a crucial time: In 2019, the City Council approved a move to a two-year budget in the context of a comprehensive financial plan, which will be effective with the Council’s approval in June.

Another ranking on fiscal strength was published in 2017, when the City of Irvine was ranked No. 1 in a Fiscal Health Index among 116 U.S. cities of more than 200,000 population by The Fiscal Times, a digital news service that specializes on fiscal policy reporting. The City received a perfect 100 score.

The Fiscal Times used five factors:

  • “The ratio of a city’s general fund balance to its expenditures
  • “The ratio of its long-term obligations to total government-wide revenues
  • “The ratio of actuarially determined pension contributions to total government-wide revenues
  • “Change in local unemployment rate
  • “Change in property values.”

Also in 2019, the City of Irvine has been awarded national and state awards for its budget team:  The Distinguished Budget Presentation Award by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada represents the highest form of recognition in government budgeting for a municipal entity. Additionally, the Excellence Award for Fiscal Year 2018-19 Operating Budget was presented by the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers.

For the Fiscal Times report, go to: fiscal times ranking