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More grim budget news for L.A.: Tax revenue falls short by $186 million

The bad financial news just keeps coming at Los Angeles City Hall, where the top budget analyst reported this morning that tax revenue has come in at $186 million below estimates for the current year.

The report from City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana comes one day after The Times reported that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and City Council leaders want to deal with the budget crisis by eliminating at least 1,000 jobs.

Sales tax revenue declined by 16% last summer, instead of the 6% drop expected by city budget officials, the report states. And overall tax revenue has declined by double digits for four quarters straight, Santana said in an e-mail to The Times.

“The city hasn’t seen this since the Great Depression,” he wrote.

With a new fiscal year – and another budget shortfall -- only five months away, the city’s elected leaders have been scrambling to come up with a new plan for closing this year’s gap. Villaraigosa and five council members circulated a letter calling on Santana to prepare for layoffs and come up with a plan to offer 364 workers retirement up to five years early.

The city has already agreed to give early retirement to 2,400 city employees, some of whom have already left. One labor leader has voiced opposition to more job cuts.

The letter also called on Santana to speed up plans for leasing city parking structures, giving him a deadline of Sept. 30. And it broached the subject of privatizing the Los Angeles Zoo and municipal airports in Van Nuys and Ontario, asking him to look at the concept.

-- David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Hall

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Comments () | Archives (12)

Shouldn't these buffoons be fired for their inept ability to budget?

Here's a brilliant idea. Let's jack the sales tax rate up even more from ten and a quarter to thirteen and a quarter. That way people will spend even less and the tax revenue will drop even further. Oh and by the way, those of you who voted for the increased tax rate last time around, CONGRATULATIONS!

Here the City is facing the worst financial crisis since the great depression and guess what, union leaders oppose any additional cuts. What is the City supposed to do, charge up the Visa? Municipal employees, especially police and fire enjoy stable paychecks that exceed market norms. They enjoy fantastic medical benefits, which are better than almost any private sector job. Plus, their pensions....they are simply excessive (who else can retire at 52 with a six figure income?). Meanwhile, the rest of us have lost jobs or seen our pay cut, watched our 401k plans wither and face uncertainty about our jobs every day. Enough is enough. No more deferring pension costs to future generations. No more early retirements, which will cost the City a fortune. No more shell games. It's time to cut pay, cut benefits and cut positions. The situation is so dire, there are no other choices.

Maybe you could lay off 10,000 workers instead of 1,000 in order to focus on chasing around that cannabis plant.

Because really, catching that danged old plant is the ONLY thing that matters.

why don't they make new ways of giving us tickets?

hands-free phones that have nothing to do with safe driving was not enough.
How about installing more cameras to catch drivers making right turns?

I recently went to traffic court and the amount of money that the city is making us pay is absurd.

I can just imagine the discussion that is now going on in City Hall. Well, let's see, if we need more revenue all we have to do is raise taxes! My god, Tony Villar, you are a genius. And we will also increase spending once all that revenue comes in. Cuts, no we don't need no stinkin' cuts.

Of course sales taxes are down. Once the sales tax went up to almost 10%, I just stopped buying from in atate. I now buy everything off the internet. I have encouraged my company employees, facebook connections, linked in connections and subscribers to do the same. That amounts to over 100,000 people. Maybe government will one day discover that overtaxing is never the answer.

And yet, the city refuses to tax medical marijuana sales.

What a surprise. Do you think the sales tax increase has anything to do with people taking their business elsewhere ? Just asking.

I agree with Thomas who wrote, "Enough is enough. ... It's time to cut pay, cut benefits and cut positions. The situation is so dire, there are no other choices."

Mr. Mayor, it's time.


LA is the worst run city in America. Get rid of the deadwood and non-essential Departments in the city i.e.: Dept. for the Aging, etc. Close general services, hire private contractors to do their job. They are lazy and inefficient. Sell DWP to SCGE. They are better and cheaper. DWP is the least efficient utility company in the USA. Cut services and employees. Layoffs at LAPD and LAFD. Both have too much staffing. DO NOT cut salaries, by doing so you will alienate all the current employees that are trained and want to continue to make LA work. Parks wants the city to go BK. Attention Mayor and City Council, get off your backsides and do something productive for once....instead of just trying to get reelected!!!

Just look at the City of Los Angeles, "City Council File Index" on Council Votes.
This City Council is spending City funds and fronting cost of events in each City Council District like it is free money.
This Corrupt Political Machine and Patron of a Mayor will continue as "business as usual" until the Council member voting block are re-called! Next election will not cut it. It will be too late. This city is heading for Bankruptcy.


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