State Budget Causes City $2.8M Shortfall

Since being elected in November, Gov. Jerry Brown pushed for a special election to extend several taxes, including a motor vehicle tax, to help balance the state budget. He received little to no support from Republicans, and the result was a budget compromise that some panned for including gimmicks.

On Wednesday, the city of San Jose announced that Brown’s inability to get motor vehicle taxes extended will cost the city $2.8 million, which will have to be accounted for next budget season.

“I wanted to inform you that recent State budget actions approved for 2011-2012 will negatively impact the City of San Jose and will necessitate rebalancing the General Fund as a result of the loss of Motor Vehicle In-Lieu revenue,” wrote Budget Director Jennifer Maguire in a memo to Mayor Chuck Reed and the City Council. “With the last minute approval of SB 89, the State of California has shifted over $130 million in annual General Fund Motor Vehicle In-Lieu revenue from cities to support State law enforcement grants effective July 1, 2011.”

Maguire added that a “more in-depth summary of the State budget actions will be released separately by the Office of Intergovernmental Relations.”

Correction: The original post had Jennifer Maguire’s name misspelled. San Jose Inside regrets the error.

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.


  1. More and more problems for Chuck, it just gets worse.

    Peter Campbell’s jealous partner does insist that Reed can perform well.  As for the budget, well, time for the partisans to arrive take Reed to run the gauntlet using budget covers.

  2. By the time we get to next budget season, we’ll be up to $150 million, anyway. What’s a few more million?  Maybe Chuck will give us his ballpark money, being that Selig has given the royal finger.

  3. > On Wednesday, the city of San Jose announced that Brown’s inability to get motor vehicle taxes extended will cost the city $2.8 million, which will have to be accounted for next budget season.

    Cheer up! The future remains bright.

    It will still be possible someday to get from San Jose to Bakerfield on the High Speed Rail in an hour and forty minutes, and with only four or five stops.

    Now, just think of some reason why you would want to go to Bakersfield.

  4. San Jose does not have to layoff more police and fire officer IF IT STOPS giving millions as Council gave $4 million in June to downtown property owners, failing downtown businesses and bailing out community non profits

    Council should ONLY spend taxes in 10th year budget crisis on essential city services NOT bailouts, non essential services, private sports teams, political tax giveaways, selling or leasing city property millions dollars under market rates to political insiders

  5. Not to worry… the Capital and Special Funds are still allocated in excess of $2,000,000,000 (that’s billion!)per year. 

    If and when our politicians level with us regarding how simple it is to reallocate much of that money into the General Fund, the sooner folks will realize we never really had a budget issue at all.

    It’s merely a matter of revising the City Charter and modifying some municipal ordinances.  But Chuck-O would rather have us believe we’re in the throes of bankruptcy… what a laugh!

    • Those Captial and Special Funds are not easy to move and in many cases they can not as they are all accounted for either for the services they are collected for; sewage, airport etc. and the capital funds are for the dedicated projects and are one time monies.  I agree the City needs to find a better system and increase revenue, but it won’t come from those two funds no matter how much miss information is spread.  Changing the prioroties which is being discussed and looking for revenue inreases while incoroprating a reasonable retirement reform will help get the City back on solid finaicial ground.  You can’t expect to inncrease the revenue wihtout teh retirement reform.

      • Nonsense!  I’m reasonably certain that at least $1,000,000,000.00 of those funds are easily reallocated.  That’s not to say it could be done in the current fiscal year but, rather, in future years, once the charter and codes are revised. 

        Bureaucrats would love it if taxpayers were gullible enough to believe otherwise.  Chuck-O and his Council, like those in past administrations, have always tried to conceal the real truth about our budget.

        • The $1 billion Greg references is off by about 80% to 90%, lower.  The special funds are guided by the fees for the services they provide and the captial funds (one time money)are restricited to the capital projects they were voted to fund.  I agree the City needs to find better ways to do business, but raiding these funds is not the answer nor is it ieasy.  They may help a little, not near the billion Greg assumes, those inflated numbers do no good for the real disucssion.  We need additional revenue along with real changes to the pension system.  Not much different than what the federal Government is gong through now, except we don;t have the debt ceiling here yet.

        • Love to see proof of this.  City insiders and even one Council Member agree with me on the billion dollar estimate.  Me thinks that Chuck-O and his gang are spreading false info via this column.

        • Greg,
          Just review the budget documents for the Capital and Special Funds for proof.  You will find all the revenue and expenditures for the entire City budget.  You can listen to the “union city insiders” and the council member they own to hear their spin about how there is so much money available, but the numbers are the facts.  The link below is an overview, but you can go into detail on each account in the large budget document that is online on the City web page.  You will not find a billion dollars available.  Do priorities need to change, you bet, starting with mutual changes to the retirement system and some of the programs in the special funds, but you will not net much ongoing monies.

  6. Did you get a scare when someone mentioned take aways from your pay off funds. We all know that money spent on much of these contracts comes right back to the politician in the way of fundraisers (bribes). I bet you almost peed yourself thinking what if the voters were educated and someone not so easily corrupted was elected and put a stop to all the scams these elected dirt bags run.
      The man who controls those Capitol funds has lots of power and obtains some serious favors. Like country wide bank they had a special office that made loans to their elected friends and often forget to collect on them. Oh wait San Jose already does that. Gi forum, Tom hhmm let’s make a list of monies given to friends of the council and let’s see just how much cash they gave to the elected !!!! 
        Know this the time is coming soon, this ship is sailing these games will come to a stop. Wall street will have slot machines and elected officials will go to prison for lying cheating and stealing !

    • The capital funds are from the bonds etc to pay for the capital and infrastucture improvements.  The money you mention to Tom is from RDA, two seperate funds.  The capital fund is not just money siting there and the expenditures go through a bidding process.  If you think it is just money for the politcians to give away you sre wrong. It sounds like you are talking about union dues used by the executive boards where there is no accounting.

  7. Lets see $3 million shortfall because the State took the money? And YOU are saying the City can cover this cost? YOUR budget problems are phony!! Move money from the “Capital” and “Special Projects”! Lets quit blaming the City workers. Rufus Reed was City Council and then Mayor so he voted for these “Unsustainable” contacts! What about that?

  8. Every time I see a Jerry Brown story, my mind hits the “Play” button on the Ipod in my brain.

    “California Uber Alles”

    I am Governor Jerry Brown
    My aura smiles
    And never frowns
    Soon I will be president…

    Carter Power will soon go away
    I will be Fuhrer one day
    I will command all of you
    Your kids will meditate in school
    Your kids will meditate in school!

    California Uber Alles
    California Uber Alles
    Uber Alles California
    Uber Alles California

    Zen fascists will control you
    100% natural
    You will jog for the master race
    And always wear the happy face

    Close your eyes, can’t happen here
    Big Bro’ on white horse is near
    The hippies won’t come back you say
    Mellow out or you will pay
    Mellow out or you will pay!


    Now it is 1984
    Knock-knock at your front door
    It’s the suede/denim secret police
    They have come for your uncool niece

    Come quietly to the camp
    You’d look nice as a drawstring lamp
    Don’t you worry, it’s only a shower
    For your clothes here’s a pretty flower.

    DIE on organic poison gas
    Serpent’s egg’s already hatched
    You will croak, you little clown
    When you mess with President Brown
    When you mess with President Brown

    • I’m speechless!

      Governor Brown-thing has already tried the President-thing.  I think he learned that he’s on a higher plane than American voters.

      For sure, he’s on a higher something!

      At a minimum, we learned during the campaign that he’s on a higher retirement plan that just about every other ex-government employee, and on higher trust fund payments than most other California trust-fund children.

  9. there is nothing wrong with figone. the cities finances have nothing to do with her, she is doing the best she can with what she has to work with. stop whining!

  10. One of the things that I find most disturbing about this whole manufactured controversy is that the subtext is that the rule of law, impartially applied, does not matter – especially if you are a member of a ‘protected class’. This is the other side of race-based policing – the side where, if you have the right credentials, the right first or last name, you don’t have to be held to the same standard of behavior that others – those not of that select group of which you are a part – are held.

    This is not how I was raised. I was raised to believe that the law is the law, that it is – or should be – a reflection of a system of ethics which grants to all people certain fundamental rights and which measures the behavior of one person using the same set of criteria as another person is judged. I was raised to believe that a person ought to be judged solely on their speech and actions, regardless of ethnicity.

    I was raised to believe that these principles are the essence, the foundation, of a truly color-blind society, and it is only by careful, deliberate and equal application of these principles that we can have a fair and just society. I realize this is the ideal, and that the ideal – any ideal – is often unobtainable. That does not, however, absolve society of the responsibility to pursue that ideal. And, it most especially does not absolve police officers – the front line in the administration of justice in our society – from the responsibility of always endeavoring to apply the law equally, impartially, and carefully – with absolutely no regard whatsoever to the ethnicity of anyone with whom they come into contact.

    Sadly, this is not what is done – in San Jose, in California or nationally, and the immigration issue is one of many to which I could point as symptomatic of the other side of the ‘race/bias-based policing’ coin. The truly asinine thing about the illegal immigration thing is that it has been made to be a racial issue. But seriously, stop and think about it. Does being Hispanic have anything at all to do with whether or not you are more likely to be an illegal immigrant? I think not. It’s an issue of geography and socio-economic conditions. Do you really think that if it was Cambodians, Filipinos, Rwandans, or the citizens of any other third world country who lived in Latin America, rather than ‘Hispanics’ that it wouldn’t be that other ethnicity which had transferred 17 million persons illegally from Latin America to the U.S. Of course not. It’s geography, and socio-economics, pure and simple.

    Therefore, enforcement of current immigration law has vastly more to do with our nation’s sovereign right to control who comes into our country and how many, to protect the interests, jobs, safety and security of its citizens above all others, and to ensure the ability of the populace as a whole to thrive and enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit (though not necessarily attainment) of happiness.

    Lastly, I am continually shocked, appalled and disgusted by the hypocritical, deceptive and self-serving rhetoric which emanates from my people – Hispanics – and those who purport to advocate for them when it comes to the issue of enforcement of existing immigration law. Distilled down to the essence of their arguments, they invariably feel that *American* immigration law – or the enforcement of same – is somehow unjust, as opposed to that of any other nation (to include their nation of origin) is somehow unjust simply because it inconveniences them or is somehow inconsistent with the sense of entitlement which allows them to violate the sovereignty of a neighboring nation.

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