SJ Budget Shortfall Threatens Cops, Firefighters, Libraries

New taxes being considered

By Jessica Greene
|  Wednesday, Feb 17, 2010  |  Updated 2:00 PM PDT
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SJ Budget Shortfall Threatens Cops, Firefighters, Libraries

Damian Trujillo

If San Jose doesn't find new sources of revenue or make more budget cuts, the city budget director says they would have to cut 140 police officers from the force.

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San Jose city leaders are considering new taxes and hundreds of layoffs to help the heart of Silicon Valley deal with a $100 million budget deficit.

Two ideas are being considered. One measure would take $5 million more in taxes from the city's two card rooms, the other would add a new quarter-cent sales tax that officials say could generate up to $30 million.

If San Jose doesn't find new sources of revenue or make more budget cuts, the city budget director says they would have to cut 140 police officers from the force. Fire department staff would also be on the chopping block and libraries could forced to cut back hours and lose a chunk of full-time staffers.

If it comes down to that, a total of 550 city workers would be out of work.

The issues would be decided by voters in June and November.

"We know we're in crisis right now," City Councilman Sam Liccardo told the Mercury News, "and these are issues we have to consider."
 

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