The City of Oakland is broke.
As the city continues to pay out money to illegal immigrants, protecting them from deportation by federal immigration authorities, it is struggling financially and may have to turn off the city’s street lights because they can no longer afford them.
As Breitbart reports, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf is planning to use $2.9 million from state gas revenues to stay afloat.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday that the city is facing severe financial shortfalls, despite a booming economy that has seen wealthier households relocate from San Francisco across the bay to gentrifying neighborhoods.
The problem is that the city’s costs are rising faster than its growing revenues, thanks partly to pension obligations — an increasingly common challenge for large, Democrat-run cities that made ambitious promises to public sector unions.
The deficit for this year will be $25 million. As a result, the Chronicle notes, Oakland — which is generously extending benefits to illegal aliens — can barely keep its street lights on.
To deal with the crisis, the city is shifting money from pothole repair to street lighting, even though the money raised by the 2017 gas tax must be used for transportation.
Here’s more, from the San Francisco Chronicle:
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
One of the most severe shortfalls is in the city’s Landscaping and Lighting Assessment District, which pays for a number of city services, including street lighting and park recreational facility maintenance.
Revenues collected by the special district, however, haven’t increased for more than 30 years, which has led to a sizable shortfall that could have meant choosing between keeping the city’s streetlights on or cutting into park funds.
Enter the state gas tax.
The mayor is proposing to use the $2.9 million to pay for the street-lighting portion of the shortfall, then use the savings to keep the parks open.
According to Article 19 of the state Constitution, gas tax money is to be used for the “research, planning, construction, improvement, maintenance and operation of public streets and highways (and their related public facilities for nonmotorized traffic).”
Oakland officials feel that gives them the cover to use the tax money to light the streets as well.