Another Wealthy California Town Is Short on Cash

Town wants residents to mull new fees or face service cuts as they find themselves short on cash.

Golden State Crisis?

The San Francisco suburb of Moraga seems far removed from the financial pressures that have battered big cities like Detroit or Chicago. The median home price has soared to more than $1.2 million, it’s not drowning in debt, and there are even free summer concerts.

However, on June 28, the 17,000-resident town authorized a declaration of fiscal emergency. This is a step California cities can take before declaring bankruptcy. In this case, it gives officials the power to expedite a referendum on new fees to boost its revenue.

The fiscal emergency declaration allows Moraga to put any revenue-raising measure on the ballot when it wants instead of waiting for a regularly scheduled election. Options being mulled include proposing a flat fee on property or a utility tax. The town will poll residents by phone to see what’s preferable.

Short on Cash?

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