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Los Angeles heading toward bankruptcy, says top budget analyst

Los Angeles City Hall is seen in this undate file image.
April 7, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Los Angeles' top budget analyst has a warning for city leaders. He says the city could be headed for bankruptcy.

City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana says the city's costs are growing faster than its revenue.

His 52-page report predicts the city will run more than $300 million in the red through 2015. The report recommends a mix of cost-cutting and revenue generating steps to avoid bankruptcy. Suggestions include using money from parking meters to fund basic city services, asking voters to approve tax increases on property sales and parking lots and reducing how much the city spends on salaries, pensions, health care and workers' compensation benefits.

Santana also says the city needs to stop using one-time fixes to close budget deficits.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is heeding the report. A spokesman for the mayor said it's clear that the city needs a balance between cuts in spending and an increase in revenue base. He added that the mayor's budget, due to be released April 20, will advance some of the concepts brought up in Santana's report.

City News Service contributed to this report.


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