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L.A. County budget expected to avoid service cuts, layoffs

Los Angeles County CEO William T Fujioka listens to speakers at a Board of Supervisors meeting in 2011. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles County supervisors will consider a proposed $23.8-billion budget next week that will not include any "dramatic" cuts to public services, furloughs or layoffs, officials announced Thursday.

The county is facing a nearly $76-million shortfall, but the proposed budget does not require cuts by county departments for the first time in four years, according to a news release. The deficit will be resolved through "a number of solutions," according to the release.

County officials are scheduled to unveil the budget and hold a news conference Monday.

The budget does not include the latest projections from the county assessor's office, which estimated last week that the county's property tax base would grow about $13 billion less than expected, meaning the county might collect about $50 million less than anticipated in property taxes.

County Chief Executive William T Fujioka said earlier this week that the county could absorb the shortfall without any significant cuts. The county has about $300 million in reserve.

Supervisors ordered an audit of the assessor's estimate and office earlier this week. 

The district attorney's Public Integrity Unit is also investigating Noguez's relationship with Ramin Salari, a tax agent and Noguez campaign fundraiser who has gotten large property tax reductions for wealthy homeowners he represents. Noguez, who was elected in 2010, has said he is a friend of Ramin but denies doing anything to favor him.

Prosecutors are also examining Noguez's relationship with a former employee who admitted to secretly and improperly reducing values for 125 Westside property owners. Noguez said last month that he had asked the former employee to "check the status" of those values but did not order them reduced.

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-- Jason Song at the County Hall of Administration

Photo: Los Angeles County Chief Executive William T Fujioka at a Board of Supervisors meeting in 2011. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

 
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