Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: San Bernardino, California, Weighs Chapter 9 Bankruptcy; That Seals the Fate
San Bernardino may become the third California city in two weeks to file for municipal bankruptcy protection, as it struggles with declining tax revenue, growing employee costs and ill-timed public-works projects.
The City Council is to consider authorizing the city attorney to file a Chapter 9 petition at a meeting late today, said Gwendolyn Waters, a spokeswoman. A decision was possible tonight, though unlikely, she said.
A San Bernardino bankruptcy would follow Stockton, a community of 292,000 east of San Francisco, which on June 28 became the biggest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy. Mammoth Lakes, a mountain resort of 8,200, filed for protection from creditors on July 3 saying it can’t afford to pay a $43 million judgment, more than twice its general-fund spending for the year.
San Bernardino, a city of 209,000 east of Los Angeles, faces a $45 million deficit this fiscal year, according to a June 26 budget analysis posted on its website. The city has declared fiscal emergencies, negotiated for concessions from employees and reduced its workforce by 20 percent in four years, according to the report.
The city is facing insolvency because of accounting errors, deficit spending, pension and debt costs, and lack of revenue growth, according to the report.
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