Sacramento budget virus spreads the infection to counties; legislative advocate lays out bleak road ahead as state crisis deepens
California's counties are losing guarantees of state funding for transportation and conservation but remain on the hook to pay for road projects and land tax agreements, a Humboldt County legislative advocate told the Board of Supervisors Tuesday.
The state's $19 billion deficit continues to bleed counties, even prompting a gas tax switch that eliminates constitutional protections to cover transportation costs. State funding for the Williamson Act -- which offers tax incentives to landowners to keep land in agricultural production -- didn't get past the governor this year despite urging by lawmakers.
Karen Lange of Peterson Consulting, Inc., laid out a largely bleak fiscal outlook for the Board of Supervisors, saying it appears that Sacramento is so focused on solving its own financial problems that it's indifferent to how it affects local governments.
”Seemingly, they just have very little sympathy for you,” Lange said.