The City Council in Oakland, the state’s eighth-largest city, passed an update to its 2007-2009 budget that cuts spending by $15.8 million, or 3%, for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
Like cities across California, Oakland has been hard hit by the downturn in the housing market. It reopened the biennial budget, facing what chief administrative officer Deborah Edgerly called a substantial decrease in its real estate transfer tax revenues. Receipts from the tax, which is paid when a property sells, are projected to fall $25.7 million, or 36%, to $44.9 million in fiscal 2008-2009.
The council balanced the $477 million budget for the coming year with a 0.2% across-the-board spending cut, a five-day closure of City Hall, and elimination of 28 vacant jobs. Mayor Ron Dellums had proposed a longer furlough for “nonessential” workers but with no job cuts.