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A report by the City Controller’s office reveals the city is an additional $53 million in the hole. This comes after this summer’s tooth-and-nail battle over a series of cuts and fee increases to cover the previously projected shortfall of $438 million.

The Budget and Finance Committee of the Board of Supervisors will meet at 11 a.m. today to discuss the report, which was released on November 16, and a possible partial spending freeze.

The report says that, “until this shortfall has been addressed, the Controller’s office will not be able to certify funds from the General Fund Reserve for other appropriations.” Essentially, the controller is putting the brakes on the board’s spending, and revoking a number of previously approved expenditures.

Why? Because the money simply isn’t there.

But not all of the Supervisors are convinced.

In a recent SF Examiner article, Budget and Finance Committee Chair John Avalos said he believes the controller’s report “is a little bit cooked.”

The SEIU has also come out against the report, questioning the controller’s claim that the city lacks the $7.1 million slated to save union jobs within the health department.

The largest portion of the shortfall, totaling $35 million, is due uncertainty about property tax appeals. The city assessor is currently considering over 4,000 appeals to property taxes, which will affect the shortfall depending on the outcome. If assessed property values fall, the shortfall will be high. If not, it will decrease.

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Born and raised in Seal Beach, California, Heather Duthie studied Political Science and Community Studies as an undergraduate. She went on to work on a number of documentary films and for Link Television. She has lived in the Mission District for the past 5 years, and currently covers government for Mission Loc@l.

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