Governor Jerry Brown is being accused of dumping California’s $17.2 billion deficit on California’s cities and counties. Mayors and county leaders are biting their nails over what the outcome will be of the governor’s shift of costs to counties coupled with his cut of social services funding. Brown plans to shut 398 active redevelopment agencies, which provide 304,000 jobs annually, in order to gain control over the $5 billion in property taxes that the local entities currently get. Tax incentives for businesses like rewards for job creation will be eliminated. A 1% increase in sales tax and a 1% increase in vehicle license fees will be extended. In Los Angeles, welfare benefits for an expected 37,000 families will be cut. With less jobs, more taxes, and less safety net, how are cities and counties—and their citizens—going to cope?
Rick Cole, City Manager for the City of Ventura; former mayor of Pasadena and former city manager of Azusa
Chris McKenzie, executive director of the League of California Cities