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Archived News Release from 2003

For Immediate Release

Redwood City Could Lose Millions in State Budget Crunch, Urges Citizens to Learn About Budget and Inform Legislators

Redwood City, CA - March 4, 2003 - While the State budget continues to swirl with uncertainty, the only apparent definite information is that cities throughout the State, including Redwood City, stand to lose millions under most of the proposals currently being discussed.
Key among the possible 'hits' to Redwood City is the potential for loss of the Vehicle License Fee (VLF) 'backfill.' Under the Governor's most recent proposal, Redwood City would suffer a loss of an estimated $1.5 million this fiscal year, and an estimated $3.3 million next year, followed by commensurate annual losses on a permanent basis. Other cities would suffer similar losses, despite the promise made by the legislature that the VLF would be fully restored, with those funds going to local governments, in the event that the economy prevents the State from making those reimbursements to local governments.

Further significant losses could be experienced if the Governor makes good on his proposal to confiscate locally-generated funds from local redevelopment agencies, unless those funds are formally obligated. Such a turn of events would have grim repercussions for Redwood City in that local redevelopment agencies would be precluded from issuing debt, and funds that would otherwise go to local agencies would instead be transferred to the State, thus impacting many redevelopment projects including low- and moderate-income housing. Other aspects of the Governor's proposal also hit local governments very hard, including loss of reimbursement of booking fees, and loss of road repair funds.

With nearly half of its annual budget going to fund police, fire, and other public safety programs, such cuts to Redwood City's funding could have devastating effects on service levels. Some other cities are worse off, and already developing plans for staff layoffs and severe service cutbacks.

The City of Redwood City believes that its constituents should be well-informed of these aspects of the State budget proposals, and that they should let their State elected officials know of their opinions on the matter. Redwood City urges interested citizens to contact their local members of the State Senate and Assembly, as well as Governor Davis, and clearly articulate their thoughts and outlook on the State budget situation. People can obtain contact information for their legislators at www.sen.ca.gov and www.assembly.ca.gov, and can reach the Governor's website at www.governor.ca.gov.

Visit Redwood City's website at www.redwoodcity.org for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, City government, and local business. Redwood City news releases are also available online, at www.redwoodcity.org/news.

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Contact: Ed Everett
City Manager
650-780-7300



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