SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CNS) - San Diego County sales tax revenues will come in about $45.3 million below estimates this fiscal year, and property assessments are expected to drop 2.3 percent, the county's chief financial officer said today.
The reversal is stark. Property tax rolls had risen an average of 8.6 percent each year over the past decade, CFO Donald Steuer told the county Board of Supervisors.
Steuer said assessed property values were expected to drop about 2.3 percent this year and 1.4 percent next year.
"Revenues are falling, or failing to keep pace, while expenditures are increasing," Steuer said.
Without improved earnings from the county's pension fund, county employees will need to increase their pension payments, he said.
Steuer said the county's economic picture was clouded by uncertainty over what portion of local taxes the cash-strapped state would return to the county.
Supervisor Dianne Jacob called it "a very sobering report" and predicted she and her colleagues would have to make some "tough decisions" in the days ahead.
In other action, the board voted to join other jurisdictions in an energy conservation energy pilot program for homeowners and businesses. Property owners will be able to pay for solar panels, insulation and other weatherizing measures, improvements over 20 years as part of their property taxes.
"This is really a significant step in forming a reasonable and long-term energy policy," Supervisor Ron Roberts said. "This could reduce in the long term the energy demands we have in San Diego County."
Increasing solar energy production will enable the county and utilities to meet government requirements for deriving a greater portion of their electricity from renewable sources, Roberts said.
The debate over dockless bikes rolled into Pacific Beach as the Town Council held a panel Wednesday night with bike and scooter sharing companies: Bird, LimeBike, ofo and Mobike.
Three San Diego schools have received phony threats this week, and on Wednesday, a Serra High School freshman was arrested on suspicion of scrawling a threat about a school shooting in a restroom at the Tierrasanta campus.
Tieray Jones walked out of jail a free man Wednesday night just hours after a judge decided to not re-try him in the death of his stepson nearly 16-years ago.
DMV officers were out Wednesday, looking for people abusing the system. One woman was in tears as she was caught using a handicap placard issued to her adult son - who wasn't with her on the shopping trip.
A Serra High School freshman was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of scrawling a threat about a school shooting in a restroom at the Tierrasanta campus.
News 8's investigation into high water bills across the city of San Diego continues. Months after we received our first complaint, viewers are still emailing us about the problem.
Escondido police sought public help Wednesday to identify a woman suspected of stealing from two jewelry stores this week while as many as 10 accomplices distracted store employees.