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County floats $363 million to balance books

By Brian

Posted: October 27, 2009 9:28 p.m.
Updated: October 28, 2009 7:00 a.m.
 
LOS ANGELES — The county Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed to use $363 million in bonds to meet budget shortfalls caused when the state ripped away county property tax revenue to balance its own budget this summer.

The bonds will be issued through the California Statewide Communities Development Agency, a joint powers authority that gives local governments access to financing options. The county will use the money to close a $363 million budget shortfall, which includes an $8 million hole in the county Flood Control District budget and a $45 million budget rift for Los Angeles County Fire.

Those budget gaps were left when the state reached into county coffers in July. Los Angeles County Fifth District Supervisor Michael Antonovich has been critical of the state balancing the budget on the backs of cities and counties.

“The state needs to get its fiscal house in order,” said Tony Bell, Antonovich’s spokesman. “The state needs to look at ways to stop the spending and stop the hemorrhaging.”

The Fifth District includes the Santa Clarita Valley.

The bond will be paid off by the state, which is bound by law to pay back the $363 million in three years with interest, said Lori Glasgow, Antonovich’s assistant chief deputy.

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