Saturday, May 9, 2009

State may raid cities and towns for cash

From the Golden State:
SANTA CRUZ -- Call it a threat or a grim reality. Whatever it is, it's not being welcomed at city halls across California.

The governor's office suggested this week that if the May 19 budget-reform measures are rejected by voters, the state will have to borrow $2 billion from cities and counties.

The proposal, which comes as polls show little hope for the ballot measures, is being met with horror by local governments that face red ink of their own.

"Our budget gap is so big it's beyond anything we could have imagined already," said Santa Cruz City Manager Dick Wilson. "If the state adds this additional burden, it's overwhelming. ... It's appalling beyond words."

Under the state proposal, the city of Santa Cruz could be forced to hand over as much as $1.6 million next year, adding to an existing hole of $6.5 million. With a total budget of $75 million, the city is already having to make concessions -- like giving up operation of two museums and a community center and asking employees to take pay cuts -- which Wilson said would become more severe should the city lose more money.

The May 19 election includes five measures that would generate $6 billion through new taxes, borrowing and funding shifts. The most recent poll, released Thursday by the Public Policy Institute of California, echoes earlier surveys and shows none of the five measures has more than 43 percent support.
The state, under voter-approved Proposition 1A, is permitted to take up to 8 percent of the property taxes collected for cities and counties as long as the money is repaid, with interest, in three years. ...

Article here. Maybe they should change California's nickname from the Golden State to the Fools Gold State. :)

Now, before you indulge any sense of schadenfreude at seeing the socialist California government fail, realize that our Socialist-in-Chief and his buddies in Congress Comrade Nancy (who represents San Francisco) and Comrade Harry ain't about to force California to cut its obviously out of control spending. Rather, I suspect the rest of us will be ponying up some more of our money to bail them out. Stimulating thought, no? After all, California is "too big to fail", the argument will go. Does that mean the rest of us are too small to succeed?

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