Any substantial cuts in federal spending for urban programs will lead to significant increased in local property taxes, a group of the nation's mayors warned yesterday.
The warning came as the Senate began considering of a revised budget resolution that strips nearly $10 billion from President Carter's proposals for empoyment, housing and other urban programs.
The resolution, approved by the Senate Budget Committee, is expected to be voted on by the full Senate early this week.
"Somebody is going to have to take responsibility for all of the cuts in federal spending that are taking place. . . . Any serious cuts, either by the Senate or the House, will probably be reflected by serious increases in real estate taxes back home," said Mayor Arthur Clark of Waltham, Mass., a city of 56,251 persons.
Clark, a Democrat who chairs the legislative committee of the United States Conference of Mayors, said the property tax warning was not meant to scare legislators into restoring deep cuts made in the Carter administration's original urban and social programming budget. Instead, Clark and four colleagues argued at news conference yesterday that increased local taxes would be the practical effect of extensive federal budget trimming.
City services such as sanitation, police protection and public transportation-many of which depend on massive infusions of federal general revenue sharing and antirecession ai - will have to continue with or without federal dollars, said Mayor Richard Caliguiri of Pittsburgh. Without federal money, however, "the local populations will have to pay more," Caliguiri said.
The mayors acknoweldged that their complaints were predictable, that similar laments are heard nearly every year at budget action time.
But this year, they said, there is difference. In the past, the mayors frequently were in the position of asking for more. Now, they said they find themselves literally begging the White House, and anyone else who will listen, to give them some of the money they once described as "not enough."
"We aren't asking for one dime more than the president put in his original budget, not for one, red copper cent more," said Thomas Cochran, deputy director of the mayors conference. "The president's budget was below our 1980 expectations but, so far, what we're getting in the Senate is an absolute massacre of our programs."
To stem the flow of red ink, a coalition of labor, urban, civil rights and political leaders spent much of the weekend and all of yesterday lobbying the White House and Capitol Hill and decrying-at news conferences and other public forums-the sorry federal fiscal outlook for urban America.
Briefly, the urban lobbyists say the Senate "massacre," left unchecked, will include these victims:
Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) public service jobs-currently funded at $11 billion and providing 625,000 jobs. The president proposed eliminating 158,000 CETA jobs. The Senate budget resolution calls for a cut of 258,000, and would slash the CETA budget by $1 billion.
Countercyclical, antirecession aid to economically distressed cities, currently funded at $250 million reduction in the antirecession funding for fiscal 1980. The Senate proposal would eliminate all of the money. (KEY OFF) ublic (KEYWORD) housing. President Carter recommended funding at $27 billion for fiscal 1980. The Senate would reduce the figure by $3 billion, amounting to a loss of over 40,000 public housing units, according to the urban lobbyists.
The Senate proposal also calls for large cuts in federal law enforcement assistance, park revitalization and energy conservations funds, the lobbyists said.