County feeds reserves while services trail, study says

San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/26/11 | Read the original article |

San Diego County has amassed $2.2 billion in unspent reserves while restricting safety net services during the recession, according to a comparative analysis of the state’s largest governments released Tuesday.

The report, “San Diego County Revenues and Reserves,” was conducted by the Center on Policy Initiatives, a pro-labor think tank based in San Diego. It compares budget and spending data for the 12 largest counties in the state.

The county’s end-of-year fund balances total almost 60 percent of expenditures, compared to an average of 42 percent among other major counties, the report states. It further starves its own budget by bringing in unusually low amounts of various revenue.

Vladimir Kogan, the study’s author, said spending more of its revenue on local services would help create jobs and boost the economy. It also would help people struggling in the recession.