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Burbank sees give and take

May 15, 2004

Mark R. Madler

Burbank Unified School District officials see good news in Gov.

Arnold Schwarze- negger's budget revision because it would mean more

money for public schools.

City officials, though, said Burbank could lose more than $8

million in state funding for its general fund and Redevelopment

Agency over the next two years.

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Bob Elliot, assistant director of the financial services

department, said that, on paper, the budget has promise, but how it

ultimately turns out is tough to say.

"We will pretty much be in OK shape," Elliot said.

Schwarzenegger's proposed budget is $102.8 billion. That includes

nearly $34 billion for K-12 education, or 43% of the state's general

fund.

Municipalities receive their funding through property taxes, sales

tax, motor fuel tax, and vehicle-license fees.

The new budget includes an increase in the cost-of-living

adjustment that would bring an additional $400,000 to the school

district. An additional $393,000 will go to public schools to make up

for receiving less than the state average for per-pupil funds.

Board Vice President Paul Krekorian said it was good news that the

governor's revision is consistent with the budget he proposed in

January, and does not include further cuts or reductions.

Krekorian also was pleased that the state Assembly will reportedly

meet the June 30 deadline to pass a budget. That makes it easier for

the district to put together and adopt a final budget, Krekorian

said.

"When we don't know how much money we're getting, it's difficult

to plan our budget," Krekorian said.

The district's preliminary budget projects deficits, but those

shortfalls will be covered by money in the district's reserves.

For the city, the revised budget results in a $3.6-million loss

for the general fund over the next two years. The city's

Redevelopment Agency will lose $5 million over the same period.

In fiscal year 2006-07, however, the city expects to receive $1.8

million from the state in vehicle-license fees.

In preparing the budget for the 2004-05 fiscal year, city

officials took into consideration losing $1 million. They now have to

find ways to make up the balance of $800,000.

The city is considering fee increases and at least one new fee to

make up the difference, Elliot said.

For example, increasing the cost of ambulance services to

residents to $48 from $36 would bring in an additional $40,000 a

year. A new $30 fee for reviewing development plans is expected to

bring in $70,000 per year.

Staff writer Jackson Bell contributed to this story.

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