Irvine’s balanced checkbook

City is ranked No. 1 in fiscal strength

You probably know Irvine has been ranked No. 1 in public safety for 13 consecutive years.

But you might not know why.

One reason is another No. 1 ranking Irvine just received: Tops in California in fiscal strength — beating every other large city from San Francisco to San Jose to San Diego.

How did the city become so fiscally strong?

Think of the well-maintained shopping centers you visit, and the strength of your home value. Retail and property taxes fund two-thirds of the city’s budget.

Now think of the office campuses in Irvine Spectrum. Irvine is home to 49 of the top 100 publicly traded companies, bringing tremendous wealth to the city.

All these advantages are due to the Irvine Master Plan.

The city’s foresight to strategically locate business districts and retail hubs throughout Irvine has created a city where small and large businesses can thrive. These businesses contribute greatly to Irvine’s fiscal bottom line, keeping taxes low, parks maintained and our police department fully funded.

In other words, our fiscal strength translates to keeping us safe — year after year after year.

Truth in Accounting

This is the third consecutive year Irvine has been ranked No. 1 in fiscal strength among America’s most populous cities by Truth in Accounting, a nonprofit organization that analyzes government finances.

The ranking calculated how a city would fare financially after all the bills are paid. Of the 75 largest cities, 63 did not have enough money to pay all their bills, according to the Truth in Accounting report.

Next time you feel good about how safe Irvine is, remember it’s no coincidence. We’re safe thanks to our fiscal strength. And we’re fiscally strong thanks to the Master Plan and Irvine’s leaders who ensure our tax dollars are being wisely managed.

Bryan Starr is president and CEO of the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Starr lives in Irvine with his wife and two children.