Distressed Communities:

Public Services Declined in California as Budget Pressures Mounted

HRD-90-95: Published: Aug 16, 1990. Publicly Released: Aug 16, 1990.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the effects of changing federal-local fiscal relations on the condition of basic public services in two distressed California counties, focusing on: (1) local efforts to cope with declining federal aid and the loss of general revenue sharing; and (2) whether state policies helped to offset those circumstances.

GAO found that: (1) since 1980, federal aid to municipalities and counties declined substantially, and Congress terminated a general revenue sharing program in 1986; (2) poorer California counties have been more adversely affected by shrinking federal support, revenue limitations, and the rising cost of state-mandated programs; (3) the counties cut services and postponed capital investments when service needs exceeded revenues; (4) state policies that limited sales taxes constrained county revenues; and (5) poorer California counties coped with local public services problems largely on their own.

Mar 1, 2021

Feb 24, 2021

Feb 17, 2021

Feb 11, 2021

Feb 5, 2021

Jan 28, 2021

Jan 21, 2021

Looking for more? Browse all our products here