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Tuttle Warns of Shaky Financial Outlook

March 02, 2001|TINA DAUNT | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Concerned that another recession could be looming, Los Angeles City Controller Rick Tuttle on Thursday warned the mayor and City Council members to use prudence in setting next year's budget, which is expected to top $3 billion.

"After almost a full 16 years as controller, the city is facing one of the most uncertain projections for the next year that I have ever seen," Tuttle wrote in a letter to city officials.

"On the one hand, we have just experienced a period of strong growth in the economy and in city revenues. . . . On the other hand, warning signs in the national and state economies indicate that we are experiencing a slowdown, and may possibly be heading into a recession."

As a result, Tuttle predicted that the city's revenue growth will taper off next year. He further warned that Los Angeles' economic outlook could be affected by the state's continuing energy crisis, a problem that does not affect Los Angeles directly but that could damage the entire state's economy.

Mayor Richard Riordan is required to present his budget proposal to the City Council for review in April.

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