Local impacts from state budget still unknown | SierraSun.com

Local impacts from state budget still unknown

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

TRUCKEE/TAHOE and#8212; What the latest iteration of the state budget means for local government is still unclear, but area officials arenand#8217;t expecting to get away without having their pockets picked.

The Town of Truckee, Nevada County and Placer County escaped from the summerand#8217;s budget relatively unscathed, but worried about the state taking away gas tax funds from local transportation, among other things.

Thatand#8217;s still the big concern today, as everybody continues to wade through Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneggerand#8217;s latest budget.

and#8220;Itand#8217;s difficult to figure out how it will impact us,and#8221; said Tom Miller, county executive officer for Placer County. and#8220;But the one that is as clear as it can be is switching the gas tax … that could be as high as a couple $100,000 hit just to the (the Tahoe area).and#8221;

Truckee Town Manager said so far the news is good for the town, but the threat losing the gas tax, which contributes significantly to transportation and road maintenance, is still looming.

and#8220;From what weand#8217;re seeing there is not a significant impact on the town, but weand#8217;re a long way from being safe,and#8221; Lashbrook said.

To make up for a drastic drop in tax revenue and plug a $20 billion deficit, Schwarzenegger proposed making cuts to health and human services, welfare, prisons, transportation and environmental programs.

and#8220;That could be a pretty dire impact on the more needy population of the county and state,and#8221; Miller said.

He also seeks to raise money by rolling back recent corporate tax breaks, expanding oil drilling off the Santa Barbara coast to provide $140 million for state parks and demanding more money from the federal government.

and#8220;It seems like the only tax revenue sector thatand#8217;s been performing is corporate, so I donand#8217;t know about increasing their taxes,and#8221; said Ted Owens, 5th district supervisor for Nevada County. and#8220;It seems like all the state can do is make hurtful and painful cuts.and#8221;

Outside of those predictions, all three representatives agreed on one thing and#8212; they donand#8217;t know what to expect from the capital.

and#8220;I kind of feel like weand#8217;re a target, I just donand#8217;t know where theyand#8217;re going to attack from,and#8221; Owens said.

And Miller said the picture may not become clearer until May.

Schwarzenegger said the state is beginning to emerge from the downturn but that it would be three to four years before tax revenue recovers.

and#8220;Tough times still lie ahead,and#8221; he said.

Schwarzeneggerand#8217;s budget proposal for the fiscal year that begins in July contains $82.9 billion in spending from the general fund, the stateand#8217;s main account to pay for its daily operations. The amount is $3.1 billion lower than last year and the lowest amount California has had to spend on government operations since the 2004-05 fiscal year.