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County Shows Support For Wildomar, Other Young Cities

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors officially endorsed a bill today that, if passed, would see a revenue stream returned to Wildomar.

A bill to restore lost revenue to Wildomar and three other young cities in Riverside County was endorsed by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors today.

Senate Bill 1566 calls for from the Motor Vehicle License Fee Account for the benefit of all cities that incorporated after 2004. Statewide, that only applies to Wildomar, Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, and Menifee.

millions of dollars in VLF revenue that the cities normally would have received was instead placed into an account for law enforcement services to help fund "realignment" -- a term used to describe how the state has mandated that some convicted felons be housed in local jails instead of state-run prisons.

Meanwhile, the stripping of VLF revenue has strapped the four new cities. According to Supervisor Marion Ashley, Jurupa Valley suffered a $6.5 million hit to its budget as a result of the lost revenue; Menifee lost $3.8 million, Eastvale $3 million and

Two of the financially distressed municipalities -- Wildomar and Menifee -- have fallen behind on payments to the county for providing public safety, transportation and other services during their transitions to cityhood. Combined, they owe the county nearly $3 million.

Last month, Wildomar and Menifee applied to the county for a five-year extension of the amortization of the transition costs, but at the direction of Chairman John Tavaglione the board decided to defer action on the cities' requests until the fate of SB 1566 is clear.

The bill, sponsored by state Senators Bill Emmerson, R-Riverside, and Gloria McLeod, D-Montclair, is slated for a hearing on April 18 in the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance. --Toni McAllister contributed to this report.

Martha L. Bridges April 19, 2012 at 01:30 AM
How can these new cities "fall behind" on payments to the county when they have, in some cases, never made a payment or even an interest payment. Talk about leaving the public with a misconception!

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