SAN LORENZO — Alameda County is going to have to cut $73 million to make up a funding gap in its $2.4 million 2008-09 budget, according to officials.
After that, county administrators suggested Wednesday, just sit tight and wait for the next financial disaster coming dow the road. County problems will filter down to unincorporated communities and cities, they predicted.
The picture will get clearer June 5, when county supervisors receive the budget, County Administrator Susan Muranishi told the Unincorporated Services Committee on Wednesday. Budget hearings are scheduled for June 16-20, with adoption on the last day.
Countywide staffing of more than 9,000 people may be up, but programs overall — including public protection, health and public assistance — must be trimmed, officials say. That's because the county will incur new expenses, such as replacing potential federal Medicaid cuts of $100 million at the county medical center, and a projected $17 billion state budget deficit.
Revenue from property taxes continues to go down, along with such other sources as property transfer taxes. The county already receives just 15 cents out of every property tax dollar, with the remainder going to cities, school and special districts, and the state, Muranishi pointed out.
The county also is counting on Measure F to pass on June 3. The measure would increase the utility tax levy in unincorporated areas, add video and cable to the services being taxed, and extend the tax to 2021.
The tax raises about $9.4 million a year. If approved by voters countywide, Measure F could bring in another $1.5 million to $2.5 million annually.
However, San Lorenzo's Mel Medeiros pointed out that county voters may be confused. He noted that Bay Area radio advertising for Measure F — this one in San Francisco, for a Hunter's Point redevelopment project — urges a "no" vote.