Budget official sounds warning on LA finances

Published April 7, 2012 10:09PM (EDT)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles' top budget official says the city could go bankrupt if it doesn't overhaul its finances with new taxes, possible layoffs and the privatization of some city services.

Chief Administrative Officer Miguel Santana told the Los Angeles Times Friday (http://lat.ms/Ifynao) that a $222 million budget gap has the city in "crisis mode." That figure is expected to increase to $427 million by 2014-15.

In a sweeping report, Santana blamed the shortfall on stagnant revenues and rising employee costs such as payroll and pensions.

He is searching for ways to come up with $150 million in new income. One proposal is to double the so-called documentary transfer tax imposed on property sales, which could generate $100 million.

Santana also wants to dole out some city services to private companies, including the management of the LA Convention Center and the zoo.

By Salon Staff

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