Orange County Seal

Posted: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 2:08 pm | Updated: 6:56 am, Wed Aug 7, 2013.
By NORBERTO SANTANA JR.

Just as Sacramento leaders return for the end of this year’s legislative session, Orange County leaders are sending an important message:

If the state and the county can’t come to an agreement in their dispute over $76.5 million in property taxes, the county will have to make significant cuts and ongoing reductions for some of the most sensitive county programs, including law enforcement.

County finance officials will issue a warning Tuesday that as much as $50 million in cuts would come immediately if a solution can’t be found by mid-September, which is when the Legislature is expected to end its session.

“Bridging the $76.5 million reduction would require a combination of labor reduction, revenue assumptions and non-labor cuts (e.g., services & supplies, equipment, capital projects, etc.),” reads a memo being distributed by county Chief Financial Officer Frank Kim.

County labor leaders have already sent out mass notices warning workers about potential cuts and where the pain might be felt.

“The County predicts they could bridge the revenue loss with labor reduction, revenue assumptions and non-labor cuts, however any specific and direct impacts are not currently known,” wrote Nick Berardino, general manager for the Orange County Employees Association, which represents more than 17,000 county workers.

“We told the County again, as we’ve said many times before, they should first look at the budgets and perks of supervisors and executives before taking any more from you and your families,” Berardino wrote.

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