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L.A. Controller: City taxes $26M short

January 7, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
There's another dose of bad news about city revenue, and department funding. It's likely to mean more drastic budget cuts and furloughs. And city employee unions and law enforcement are getting ready for a fight.The city's chief financial officer, Miguel Santana, met with L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as Los Angeles got more bad economic news. City Controller Wendy Greuel reports that tax receipts are $26 million less than expected.

"The reality is is that more cuts are coming, the council needs to give us direction on what programs they no longer want to fund," said Santana.

And Santana says the long-term lease of city garages expected to help erase a $300-million deficit is in serious jeopardy.

"Close to $4 million that taxpayers are subsidizing for that program, now we want to transfer that loss in revenue to a private operator," said Santana.

Santana has suggested delaying or suspending police hiring -- not an idea that goes over with the mayor or police chief.

There may be a $10 million cut to the fire department budget.

And city employees could be forced to take 10 extra unpaid furlough days on top of the 26 days they currently have.

The economic recovery in Los Angeles if there is one, is very slow. Eyewitness News called the L.A. Personnel Department for information Friday. The office was closed because of furloughs

According to Santana, more layoffs and cutbacks are a certainty.