This is no easy topic, especially right now. And lest anyone not believe we are in deep financial trouble, just read the following email I received from the City Manager today:
Potential State Impact to Long Beach of $44 million from State Budget Raids
Long Beach has learned that proposals being discussed at the State Level could impact the City of Long Beach up to $44 million in Fiscal Year 2010. While no State budget has been approved and the negotiations are ongoing early Wednesday evening, raids on local government funds continued to be discussed at the State Level. These potential raids include:
$8 million in Gas Tax
- An illegal raid of up to $8 million in Gas Tax funds, which are used for local street projects and to fund critical transportation operations such as Street Light Power, Engineering/Project Development, Street Tree Maintenance, Street Markings/Signs, Potholes crews, and Traffic Signals Operations and Maintenance.
$10 million in Prop 1A Borrowing of Local Government Property Tax
- The State would borrow eight percent of the property tax revenues received by cities, counties and special districts.
$6 million in RDA Funds
- An illegal raid of $6 million or potentially more from the Redevelopment Agency, which would not have to be paid back.
$20 million in Low-Moderate Income Housing Set-aside dollars
- One proposal is to raid the entire amount of housing set-aside next year. These funds are used to increase, improve, and preserve the supply of housing for low- and moderate-income households and provide loans to those in danger of foreclosure. These dollars also leverage significant other investment in workforce housing – a recent project funded with housing set-aside dollars leveraged other funds by a factor of 10.
The League of California Cities and the Community Redevelopment Association have threatened immediate lawsuits to strike down the Gas Tax raid and Redevelopment raids, should the State Legislature enact these proposals.
We will be dealing with how to respond to these cuts, if implemented, during budget deliberations. We will keep you apprised of further developments.
PATRICK H. WEST