Truckee unites with other small towns in budget battle
In an attempt to keep the state’s far-reaching hands out of local purses, town and special district officials have joined a coalition called LOCAL.
LOCAL – which stands for Leave Our Community Assets Local – was formed a year ago to protect taxes that are earned locally, and spent locally on essential services like police and fire departments.
“The LOCAL Coalition has proposed and continues to offer various measures that can be used to help reduce the state’s deficit, without eroding local revenues,” said a statement on the group’s Web site.
The coalition has offered recommendations to the state regarding the crisis and hopes to not repeat tax shifts that damaged local services in California approximately 10 years ago.
Many Truckee officials are dumbfounded that the state can create such a huge deficit, while special district heads and town or city managers would be fired for doing the same.
“It’s really kind of criminal,” said Dave Gotschall, general manager of the Truckee Tahoe Airport, whose district could face a 25 percent cut in its revenue in the next year.
“Cities, counties and special districts did not create the policies and programs that led to this crisis and local services should not be caused to suffer because of them,” said Mayor Ron Florian in a letter to Senator Rico Oller early in December.
Florian and the town council feel the state’s approach to the budget crisis should emphasize the protection of local services.
Although the town has joined LOCAL and is trying to make its voice heard in Sacramento, town officials emphasize that individual citizens also need to voice their concerns by writing to elected officials.
For more information on LOCAL, visit its Web site at http://www.calocal.org.