SF supervisors approve a budget

July 21, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom met with other officials to figure out how the state's money raid will affect this city. This is the same day San Francisco lawmakers approved a budget that will now have more holes to fill.

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After weeks of sit-ins, die-ins, protests and rallies over proposed cuts, San Francisco supervisors approved a budget.

Ironically just as they pass the deal that closes a $437 million gap, the state has stepped in to muck things up. City officials believe Sacramento will borrow around $100 million this year in property taxes.

Take at least $12 million in redevelopment funds over the next two years. The city uses that money to pay for affordable housing like a complex being built in the Bayview neighborhood.

Supervisor Bevan Dufty is a member of the committee that hashed out the city's budget. He says San Francisco may have to take out a loan to cover the loss.

"We are doing very well in our bond rating, so what this likely means is that we will make it for to finance this since already on the budget that the state is going to repay these funds that we will lose," said Dufty.

Sacramento will not pay back the bucks it grabs from the gas tax, an estimated $18 million hit for San Francisco.

That could mean the city will have to cut back on street cleaning and other public maintenance jobs. Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi says moneymakers, like a local vehicle license fee could become necessary.

"Which means we may have to go to the ballot or we may have to turn back very soon to the budget process to excavate more dollars," said Mirkarimi.

San Francisco may be in better shape than some other cities and counties. Officials have $25 million in a rainy day fund and put another $18 million on reserve, in anticipation of what would happen in Sacramento.

"I hope it's not back to the drawing boards," said Mirkarimi.

There is still a lot of uncertainty at City Hall. Supervisors are asking the City Controller for a more precise estimate to give them that within seven days, after state lawmakers adopt the budget.

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