Inland Cities still searching for Funding

From Press Enterprise 9/28/14

SACRAMENTO: Governor vetoes

bill to restore Inland cities’

funding

Eastvale, Menifee, Wildomar and especially Jurupa Valley have struggled since vehicle license fee revenue was diverted in 2011

Jurupa Valley’s hopes of getting a budget boost from the state were dashed Sunday when Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have restored funding diverted in 2011 from the state’s four newest cities, all of which are in Riverside County.

Jurupa Valley is facing the specter of running out of money within two years and having to disincorporate. City leaders have taken initial steps toward that end.

Eastvale, Menifee, Wildomar and Jurupa Valley have lost out on millions of dollars annually since 2011, when state legislators voted to divert vehicle-license fee revenue from cities to law-enforcement grants. All have had to cut back on services, but none was affected as badly as Jurupa Valley, which became a city two days after the vote.

“I think this is a travesty,” Councilwoman Laura Roughton said Sunday evening. “The four new cities are being singled out and treated differently than the other 478 California cities and it is completely wrong.”

She couldn’t predict what the veto means for Jurupa Valley’s future as a city. She said meetings will be held starting Monday to discuss the situation.

“We are so dependent on ongoing revenues that were taken from us,” she said. “It’s going to be difficult to try to find a substitute for that. I truly don’t know if it’s possible.”

Senate Bill 69, sponsored by state Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, would have returned an estimated $18 million to $19 million to the four cities in property tax money that normally goes to education. Because state law requires full funding for education, that money would have to have been repaid from the general fund.

Jurupa Valley officials had been hopeful Brown would sign the bill because it received overwhelming support in the legislature, Roughton said.

“While it is true that the state’s economy has improved markedly, and significant progress has been made in aligning revenues and expenditures, I do not believe that it would be prudent to authorize legislation that would result in long term costs to the general fund that this bill would occasion,” Brown wrote in his veto message.

This is the second time Brown vetoed a bill to restore the money; the first time was in 2012.

Since 2011, all California cities have lost vehicle-license fee revenue, but the four newest took the hardest hit — they received a greater share to make up for property taxes that cities formed after 2004 don’t get.

Jurupa Valley lost almost half of its expected first-year revenue and has struggled since then to stay afloat.

The City Council was forced in January to begin the process of disincorporation. Some positive news came in May: Previous projections had the city running out of money in July 2015, but because of careful planning and higher-than-expected revenues, that date was pushed back a year.

City of Eastvale, Established in 2010

eastvale

City of Jurupa Valley, Established in 2011

Jurupa Valley

City of Menifee, Established in 2008

menifee

City of Wildomar, Established in 2008

wildomar

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