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SD City, County Could Lose Millions to State

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Aired 5/26/09

San Diego County is preparing for the possibility the state might take away millions of dollars in property taxes to fill the budget gap in Sacramento. And KPBS reporter Katie Orr explains a county official says that might not be the only place San Diego takes a hit.

— San Diego County is preparing for the possibility the state might take away millions of dollars in property taxes to fill the budget gap in Sacramento. And KPBS reporter Katie Orr explains a county official says that might not be the only place San Diego takes a hit.

Under a 2004 law California is allowed to borrow up to 8% of the property tax revenue from cities and counties. That means San Diego County could lose $70 million dollars to the state in the coming fiscal year. Chief Financial Officer Don Steuer says the county can handle that one time hit. But he says the state is also considering cutting funds for health and public safety programs run by the county.

“That one thing, we’re going to find a way to deal with that. But if these other things begin to hit also, then you’re dealing with a combination of several things. That’s a different kettle of fish,” he says.

Steuer says the county should know about specific program cuts this week. The City of San Diego could lose $36 million dollars. Mayor Jerry Sanders is in Sacramento to lobby against the property tax raid. A city spokesman says that would mean everything would be on the table when it came time to finalize San Diego’s budget.

Katie Orr, KPBS News

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