THE BLOG
08/22/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Sacramento's Dangerous Shell Game

On Monday night, California's state legislators emerged from negotiations to announce a so-called "landmark deal." Sacramento had finally agreed on a plan to close the state's perpetual budget deficit. But instead of addressing the fundamental problems that keep Sacramento hardwired for failure, lawmakers chose instead to balance their books on the backs of California's cities, counties and school districts.

And although some in Sacramento are praising this deal, this is not a moment to celebrate. This is not a moment to hail a new day in state government. This deal -- and the system that produced it -- reflects a clear abdication of our state's responsibility to provide critical services to its taxpayers.

The City of Los Angeles alone could stand to lose nearly $275 million in revenue and services this fiscal year. That includes up to $120 million in property taxes and $60 million in gas tax funds that the state is under no obligation to repay.

The State also plans to confiscate $72 million of our funding for redevelopment projects. This will mean a severe setback in the progress we've made cleaning up the streets of Hollywood, Downtown LA and dormant sections of the San Fernando Valley and undermine the 2,300 construction workers whose livelihood depends on these projects. The State is not just taking $72 million away from our poorest neighborhoods. It's destroying the foundation we have built for economic recovery in this City.

These cuts are simply unacceptable. They take aim at our City's purse strings while our local families get caught in the middle. They target our efforts to stimulate the economy, and gun down new investments in infrastructure, job creation, and the green economy.

We will not stand for highway robbery, and we are currently evaluating every legal option at our disposal to ensure that Los Angeles does not suffer from the misguided priorities of this budget proposal.

cross-posted at www.mayor.lacity.org