Chamber plans informational campaign on budget cuts | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Chamber plans informational campaign on budget cuts

Susan Wood, Tribune staff writer

With almost a million-dollar loss in revenues jeopardizing the city’s general fund, the South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce joined a coalition of California cities, counties and business groups Thursday in an effort to hold the line on state budget cuts.

Cody Tubbs, a representative with the League of California Cities, addressed the local business group that morning to garner support for an informational campaign it plans to take to the state as it struggles to close a $35 billion budget shortfall.

Tubbs said now is the wrong time for the state to squeeze cities and counties with added homeland security costs now that war has broken out. He was referring to Gov. Gray Davis’ proposal to deny replacing revenues generated from higher vehicle license fees once promised to the state’s 478 cities like South Lake Tahoe.

The city stands to lose an estimated $934,000 or about 5 percent of its general fund money. El Dorado County may lose about $7.2 million, which amounts to 14 percent of its general fund.

“That does have an impact at home,” Tubbs said, acknowledging the plight of local governments. “We’re talking about officers on the street.”

Public safety makes up one of three resources the League of California Cities insists “shouldn’t be jeopardized.”

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Tubbs also balked at the idea of Davis’ suggesting that local governments should share the pain in the budget woes.

“We have already been part of the solution,” he said, referring to the shift in property tax revenue from local governments to the state.

Carl Ribaudo, who serves on the chamber board, supported forming the coalition but suggested the idea fails to go far enough in solving the consistent, trickle-down budget problems.

“Who stands up and says this systematic approach doesn’t work?” Ribaudo asked, suggesting more drastic measures are needed.

Tubbs said the organization is receptive to new ideas on how to solve its membership’s budget woes.

–Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at swood@tahoedailytribune.com

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