Cupertino is facing a budget shortfall starting this year. The decline in revenue is due to a change in sales tax distributions based on an audit by the CDFTA (California Department of Fee and Tax Administration) of how Cupertino receives sales tax revenue from Apple.

At the Cupertino City Council meeting on April 13, the staff provided a review of the worst-case scenario of what the projected revenue impact for the city would be over the next ten years. (See video here, item 6).

The majority of the Councilmembers acknowledge that the magnitude of the cut is still in doubt. Vice Mayor Mohan was very clear about the uncertainty in the revenue information that the city has at this time.

We need to remember that we are still operating under a whole set of unknowns, we still don’t have exact numbers, and hopefully we’ll have something more concrete on May 1st.”

Vice Mayor Sheila Mohan

The list of the current Bike/Ped related CIP (Capital Improvement Program) and Workplan Projects. Items below the blue line are either not funded yet or could be cut.

Note: this is based on currently available information to WBC and may change by the time you read this. Click on the chart for a larger view.

The early staff worst-case estimates are a reduction of $30.6 million, or about 28% of total city revenues. The worst-case shortfall is only $17.8M if their early recommended budget changes (not filling open staff positions, reducing special projects, and more) are implemented.

The majority of the Councilmembers are not looking for scapegoats or panicking, but are looking at the issue calmly and rising to the challenge.

have dedicated council members….together, we’re going to pull through this.”

It’s likely that there will be changes that will affect all city departments going forward, including bike/ped projects. As all Transportation projects fall under the Public Works department, they will also be competing for manpower and funding with other infrastructure projects, such as the City Hall Annex and solar panel array for the Civic Center parking lot.

The chart above lists all the projects that the city current has listed for CIP (Capital Improvements Projects, or infrastructure changes costing >$50K) or Workplan (generally, staff time and small projects costing <$50K).  Anything that is not currently in progress or has not already been funded by outside grant money will likely be considered for deferring to a later year or eliminating. This could be for specific phases. For example, if the design for a particular project is in progress but the construction will need to come later from the General Fund, the completion of that project may be deferred or cancelled. Some of these projects are also very small (The bike rack project is only $50K, for example). This will make it less likely they will be cancelled.

The city staff will be providing their strategic ideas for what should be in the budget at the beginning of May and the Council will review it then. Until then, it’s difficult to say what will happen. Some Cupertino residents have posted on social media fearful theories as to what the Council could decide to cut or even property that the city might sell; it is clear, however, from the Council meeting that no decisions of this type have been made or considered yet.

“We are in this together. Let’s work out feasible solutions to increase revenues and reduce spending, but keep public safety.”

Mayor Hung Wei

As the situation becomes clearer, we will keep you updated on changes to the budget that will affect the safety and enjoyment of biking and walking in Cupertino.

The information in this article is solely the opinion Walk-Bike Cupertino and does not reflect the opinions of any other organization or entity. For more information, contact WBC at