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Skelton: California's financial problems deeper than bankruptcies

July 19, 2012 | 11:24 am

San Bernardino2

SkeltonSan Bernardino, Stockton and Mammoth Lakes are all heading for bankruptcy because they broke a common sense rule of finances -- don't spend more than you take in.

That only scratches the surface of California's financial problems, columnist George Skelton writes.

"The root cause of local governments' financial plights in California is systemic," he writes. "Funding arrangements between Sacramento and cities, counties and schools are unworkable and cockeyed."

One of the biggest problems, Skelton argues, is Proposition 13.

"The property tax-cutting initiative started California down the dangerous path of lost local control and lack of accountability for spending revenue raised in the community," he writes. "More power over local taxes flowed to state government in a convoluted system few could comprehend."

Read more from George Skelton.


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Photo: The San Bernardino City Council declared a fiscal emergency and filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday. Roxanne Williams asks the council to do what they can to save the city. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times