Local governments find themselves with more manageable funding cutbacks in Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's new budget proposal, thanks to an agreement struck with the governor last year.
L.A. County officials knew months ago that they would have to fork over $103 million in property taxes to Sacramento for the 2005-06 budget year, and they were able to plan for it.
Schwarzenegger's budget did contain some additional pain, but it's in the tens of millions of dollars, not the hundreds of millions.
The single biggest loss for the county is $30 million in funding for juvenile justice programs, according to David Janssen, L.A. County chief administrative officer.
In addition, the budget stretches out the state's reimbursement of local governments for complying with mandated services, Janssen said. Instead of paying back $200 million to the county over five years, the state would now pay it over 15 years, representing an annual cut of about $25 million.
"I wasn't expecting any reimbursements from the state this year anyway, so this won't have too much of an impact," Janssen said.
The biggest impact of the state spending reductions will be felt by those who rely on the county for social services, including welfare payments or Medi-Cal. "There are some major policy decisions that we're going to have to grapple with here," Janssen said.
Meanwhile, cities across the state will feel the loss of reimbursements for jail booking fees a cumulative total of about $38 million.
The biggest single impact on local governments is the prospect of losing $250 million in gasoline sales tax revenues earmarked for transportation projects; the money would be shifted to the state's general fund.
Local projects at risk include a bridge at the Port of Long Beach, a northbound carpool lane on the San Diego (405) Freeway and funding for the planned Expo light rail line from USC to the Westside. Local transit officials may have to decide whether to fund these projects on their own or put them on hold.
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