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Lawmakers: Wildomar Stands To Lose $1.8 Million In Revenues

According to lawmakers, SB 89 will have a "devastating effect on four new cities within our region and may well result in bankruptcy or un-incorporation of one or more of them."

Lawmakers representing Wildomar say the city stands to lose $1.8 million in revenues if a senate bill passed this week as part of the state budget package is not amended.

The legislators sent a letter today to Governor Jerry Brown asking him to return Senate Bill 89 to lawmakers for amendments, otherwise there will be a “devastating effect on four new cities within our region and may well result in bankruptcy or un-incorporation of one or more of them,” the letter states.

The cities of Wildomar, Eastvale, Jurupa Valley and Menifee have all incorporated within the past few years, and their fiscal stability was based on revenues from the vehicle license fee as appropriated in Section 11005(c) of the Revenue and Taxation Code, the letter states.

“SB 89 removes this funding source, a point that was not referenced in the Assembly Floor Analysis,” the letter states.

Click here to read full text of SB 89.

Under SB 89, city general fund revenue from the vehicle license fee formula would be redirected into a Local Law Enforcement Services Account that was created by the public safety realignment funding bill SB 93/AB 118.

The letter states that Wildomar stands to lose $1.8 million in revenues if SB 89 is not amended.

Potential revenue losses for three other new cities are even higher, with Eastvale standing to lose $3.1 million, Jurupa losing $6.2 million, and Menifee dropping $3.9 million, according to the letter.

“This revenue accounts for 20 percent to 25 percent of the entire budget for these new cities. These cities will be seriously impacted by this realignment and will have way no ability to recover from this devastating loss of revenue. The four cities in Western Riverside County (and unknown others statewide) may be forced into bankruptcy or un-incorporation as a direct result of this bill,” the letter states.

Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries, 66th District, Assemblyman Paul Cook, 65th District, Assemblyman Jeff Miller, 71st District, Assemblyman Brian Nestande, 64th District, Senator Bill Emmerson, 37th District, and Senator Bob Dutton, 31st District, all signed the letter.

Today’s letter states that most legislators were unaware of the provision due to “last minute drafting of the language” and the cities themselves were not made aware of this provision until it was too late to request amendments.

“We recognize that SB 89 is a significant part of the budget agreement that was passed Tuesday night.  We respectfully ask that you return this bill for amendments to protect newly incorporated cities that may inadvertently be placed in jeopardy,” the letter states.

Wizard Without Remorse July 01, 2011 at 06:25 AM
What troubles me about all this is the admission, "that most legislators were unaware of the provision due to 'last minute drafting of the language'..." Is this not their job to know what they are voting for and against? Don't they have staffs who's job it is to review the legislation and brief their politicians on the contents?
David Pereira July 01, 2011 at 02:32 PM
I agree with Charles. Although this situation stinks, it really was up to Jeffries to read the bill before he signed it. Let the chips fall.
Ken Mayes July 01, 2011 at 03:23 PM
The day of reckoning is coming fast. Government can only piss away money for so long before there ain't no mo. As for the legislature reading anything you have to remember they were most likely educated in California and can't read past a fifth grade level.
George Cambero July 05, 2011 at 02:05 AM
Totally agreed with all comments,Very same people signed letter sent to the Democrat Governor after the fact. Will this done in purpose to get political publicity? We've the responsaiblity to do our home work if we want them to continue to represent us not their own political agenda or special interest.
Martha L. Bridges July 05, 2011 at 05:46 AM
Sounds like our representatives were too busy celebrating their own political victories and had their eyes on the upcoming 2012 elections and their personal political agendas. They let due diligence go right out the window. As a community we need to broaden our perspective beyond what is happening here locally in Wildomar and keep a sharp eye on what is going on at the county and state levels. Agendas and bills need to be read and questioned before they are voted on. Wildomar isn't an island, and what happens at other levels of government is certainly going to impact us. We may yet loose the RDA/EDA funding, and end up paying more for fire protection in some areas...among other things. The council and city management need to be more aware and get out in front of these issues. The time to raise objections or possibly influence these decisions is before they have been approved and pasted into law. Writing letters after the fact isn't a very effective. I urge everyone to get involved, and let our current elected representatives know how disappointed we are in their performance.

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