Counties have used this money for years under agreements with
newly-dissolved redevelopment agencies. And Paul McIntosh
with the California State Association of Counties says it would be
extremely difficult to lose those funds at the last minute.
McIntosh: "Many counties have
already adopted their budgets, so they would have to go in and rip
out general fund money - and that general fund money,
unfortunately, is going to support public safety, libraries, the
things that the counties do with their general fund."
Counties have an ally in Governor Jerry Brown, who strongly
opposes the property tax change. And several Democratic
lawmakers who voted for the budget last week did so only after a
promise that the counties would keep the money. So budget
talks are focused on finding the $250 million somewhere else.
Yolo County Especially Nervous
In the Sacramento area, Yolo County would be particularly
hard-hit if that money goes away, since it accounts for about 10
percent of the county's budget. "There were a number of us who only
voted for the budget because of the assurances that we were given
that there would be a different source of $250 million that would
be found in the budget," says State Senator Lois Wolk, a Democrat
who represents Yolo County.