City Urged to Cut Back on Spending
By City News Service
Published November 27, 2008

CNS–A projected $110 million deficit could be reduced if the city of Los Angeles delays the purchase of police squad cars, trims fewer trees and installs fewer left-turn arrows, according to a report released last week. Those recommendations are in addition to a temporary moratorium on fee waivers, a hiring freeze and money transfers, according to the financial report prepared by the City Administrative Office. The projected deficit is the result of a $55 million revenue shortfall due to a dip in sales, business and parking taxes, and $55 million in spending beyond the city's $7.1 billion budget.

The deficit could be reduced to $55.94 million if all of the CAO's recommendations are implemented, according to the report.

"The credit crisis, depressed real estate market, slumping auto and retail sales, increasing unemployment and other business news indicate that the city's revenue will face continuing and additional downward pressures," interim CAO Ray Ciranna wrote.

"It is therefore imperative that the city quickly realign spending to reflect expected diminishing revenues. Any delay would further aggravate the shortfall and lead to larger and more severe reductions at a future date."

Public Works could save about $800,000 if fewer trees are trimmed. The Los Angeles Police Department was provided $4.3 million this year to replace 118 patrol cars. The city could save $1.92 million if the replacement of 53 vehicles was deferred, the CAO said.

The Department of Transportation could save $650,000 if construction is delayed on left-turn signals, and save another $460,000 by completing 10 signal projects instead of 15.



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