DeVore Scoffs at Budget Data Suggesting Orange County Uses More, Spends Less for State Services

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Assembly Budget Committee chairwoman Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) released data from the Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) that suggests cuts under the state budget plan approved Thursday morning could hit Republican areas hardest because they use more government services, while the tax burden falls more heavily on Democratic leaning counties.

Evans' analysis rubs Assemblyman Chuck DeVore (R-Irvine) the wrong way, Malcolm Maclachlan reports in Sacramento's Capitol Weekly.

"Is she somehow suggesting that we Republicans should be supporting taxes because we're getting more from the system then her own constituents?" he asked. "In the district I represent, there are so few people depending on state aid that calls I get are just like 'Shut it down!'"

Maclachlan cites the LAO's own figures that show Orange County sent back $549 extra dollars to the state for every resident, a number that DeVore says would be even higher in the "one-seventh" of Orange County he represents. For instance, the "low-performing schools" in the district of state Sen. Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) get more state money than the higher-performing schools in his own district, said DeVore, who added that since the 1978 passage of Proposition 13, low property-tax counties like Orange County subsidize higher-tax counties like San Francisco County. And many small rural counties take a lot more per capita in services, but it doesn't amount to much actual spending when compared to highly populated counties like Orange County, DeVore said.

"I can play those games as well as anyone else can," says DeVore, who is eying Barbara Boxer's U.S. Senate seat in 2010. "I love math. Give me a spreadsheet and half an hour and I'll come up with all sorts of stuff."

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