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Calif. Considers Taking Local Gas Taxes

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Aired 6/12/09

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders spoke out today against a decision by California’s Budget Conference committee to begin taking local gas tax revenue.

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Above: Reporter Katie Orr talks with San Diego Week host Gloria Penner about San Diego's projected budget shortfall and how the City Council managed to keep most municipal services intact.

— San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders spoke out today against a decision by California’s Budget Conference committee to begin taking local gas tax revenue.

If the committee’s decision is approved by the full California legislature, San Diego could lose $24 million a year in gas tax revenues for the next two years. Sanders says that money accounts for a third of the city’s street maintenance program. He says if the money’s taken, San Diego will have to make up the difference by cutting from other departments, something he says the city can’t afford.

“From last year’s budget, which started July 1, to the mid-year correction, to the cuts made this week, that’s $185 million we’ve cut,” he says. “When you add on another $24 million, that is 20 percent of our general fund budget in one year.”

Sanders says the state is not required to pay back the gas tax money. He stressed state lawmakers are at fault for California’s budget mess and says local governments shouldn’t be tapped for money to reduce the deficit.

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