Laura Sturza and Molly Shore
City and school district officials breathed a sigh of relief
following the release of Gov. Gray Davis’ revised budget plan, but
won’t take anything for granted until a final budget is adopted.
Davis’ $96-billion spending plan, released Wednesday, relies more
heavily on new taxes and borrowing than drastic spending cuts feared
by the school district and city, which is facing a $9-million
“Overall, we were pretty pleased,” City Manager Mary Alvord said.
“But it’s not good news for individual taxpayers.”
Vehicle-license fees are expected to jump dramatically, and
residents throughout the state will pay more income tax and sales tax
under Davis’plan, which also calls for higher taxes on cigarettes.
It’s still not clear whether the state will withhold about $3
million from the city’s Redevelopment Agency, according to Derek
Hanway, the city’s financial services director.
The agency’s projected budget for the 2003-2004 fiscal year is
$27 million, $3 million of which is at risk. But that amount could
grow to as much as 50% of the agency’s budget over the next 15 years.
That, Hanway said, would “eliminate the Redevelopment Agency’s
ability to do anything.”
"[Davis’ plan] shouldn’t impact the General Fund budget, though
problems from redevelopment can affect the General Fund,” Hanway
The school district, meanwhile, is facing a $4-million budget
deficit, and this week more than 40 teachers and counselors received
layoff notices for the coming school year.
Burbank School District Supt. Gregory Bowman remained skeptical
that any real progress will soon be made in adopting a state spending
“The governor’s May revise is inert,” Bowman said. “It’s simply
another proposal that has to be taken up by the [state] Legislature.”
Until both houses vote on the budget, which Republicans will be
loath to do in light of Davis’ request to increase taxes, nothing
will happen, Bowman said.
However, he added, the small ray of light in the budget indicates
that Davis has not turned a deaf ear to the pleas of parents and
educators to adequately fund education.
Davis’ latest budget revision supports class-size reduction and
includes adjustments for adult education, Bowman said. But he
cautioned that revenue based on student attendance could still be
“It’s a revision that shows that the revenues are still not
adequate,” he said. “He’s made comments to the California Teachers
Assn. that are pleasing to them, but he still has to convince