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We've Been Warned: These Budget Cuts Are Going To Hurt

Monday, Jan. 24, 2011

Fiscal triage is underway in cities and counties across the country. The economy remains sluggish, unemployment is high, and the cost of providing basic services continues to rise.

Does this sound familiar? It's the same song we've heard for at least five years, but now there seems to be more truth in the lyrics. The naysayers, pundits, candidates,  and officeholders have all tried to fix our budget shortfalls without actually making substantial changes. That is no longer the case.

In California, Governor Jerry Brown is not only trimming "extras" like government-issued cell phones, fleet vehicles. and a variety of agencies, he is taking a close look at redevelopment agencies. These agencies, established in cities and counties throughout the state are allowed to shift their property taxes from schools and other needs in order to dedicate the money to "blighted areas." Cities argue a redevelopment agency (RDA) stimulates job growth and improves property values, and the League of California Ciies is mounting oppostion to the proposal.

Each redevelopment comes with a staff, so John Chiang, state controller, is also looking at salares in the 18 RDAs he has targeted for review.

As painful as Brown's proposed cuts are (they include higher education, social services, and the like) they are necessary --unless voters support higher taxes.

When the nurse is ready to give a shot it is usually with the warning" "this is going to hurt." Californians should consider themselves forwarned.

Tags: California budget, Governor Jerry Brown, redevelopment agencies

 
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