El Monte is taking steps to try and avoid the same kind of financial crisis that has hit San Bernardino and Compton by considering declaring a fiscal emergency at a City Council meeting on Tuesday, Mayor Andre Quintero told NBC4 on Monday.
Part of the city's plan to generate revenue is to consider taxing businesses that sell sugary drinks. If the City Council approves, it could go up for a vote during a municipal special election in November.
“We are a few years away from that type of crisis," Quintero said. "We’re trying to be pro-active."
Quintero said the city is considering extending a half-cent sales tax that is set to expire in April 2014 to help stave off a financial crisis.
Quintero said that all city employees have taken concessions in areas such as medical benefits.
Some have taken furloughs. Council members have taken a 15 percent pay cut and all departments have made a 6.5 percent cut in services.
Over the last five years, the city has lost $10 million in annual sales tax. The city’s annual operating budget is $50.5 million, down from $60 million in 2007.
El Monte, historically known as "The End of the Santa Fe Trail," is a city of more than 113,475 people, down from 115,965 at the 2000 census.
The news comes as two Southern California cities have announced financial crises in recent weeks. Compton officials announced the city could run out of money come September.
San Bernardino city officials announced they are seeking to file for bankruptcy.