In June of 2018, the City Council approved a budget amendment for the 2018-19 fiscal year that reduced the City’s operating budget by about $1,000,000 or 4%. These cuts included some employee lay-offs and other staffing realignment and reorganization. In June of 2019, the City Council adopted the 2019-21 Biennial Budget and 8-Year Financial Plan. The current budget and 8-Year Plan do not in any way rely on additional one-time or on-going revenues from the former mall site. To make up for lost retail sales tax revenue, the City has requested that MGP consider space for a hotel use since hotels generate revenue from Transit Occupancy Tax (TOT).
March 2021 Update: The final project submittal for Village at Laguna Hills includes a hotel with 100 to 150 rooms which will generate a significant amount of Transient Occupancy Tax to the City. The City’s analysis of the project’s fiscal impacts conclude that the hotel will generate over $600,000 annually upon completion in TOT revenue for the City. The fiscal impact study is available on the City’s website. See also FAQ 14.