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This morning, city officials said the state’s budget-balancing actions could mean an additional $60 million hit to the city’s budget aside from what’s already been addressed in spending proposals.

This afternoon, there was an even more dire worst-case number: $72 million.

That’s on top of the $83 million shortfall that Mayor Jerry Sanders proposed closing through a series of labor concessions, reserves, fee increases and other measures. The City Council today gave preliminary approval to most of those measures.

Sanders said today that in addition to the possibility that state officials could borrow up to $36 million in property tax revenues and $24 million in gasoline tax revenues, there’s also been talk in Sacramento about tapping another pot of gasoline tax money, which Sanders said could cost the city another $12 million.

The mayor made the comments at a meeting where officials from other cities and San Diego County vowed to work together to fight the cuts.

The possibility the state will borrow property-tax money appears especially likely. Sanders said the move would be less borrowing than stealing. Despite a constitutional guarantee saying the state would have to pay cities back, he said the state has no plan to do so.

Sanders said it’s not clear yet how the city would bridge a larger city shortfall caused by state action but said the city may have to lay off workers, which the mayor and City Council took pains to avoid so far for the fiscal year starting July 1.

RANI GUPTA

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