The Riverside County Board of Supervisors decided today it will wait until June to formally ink a deal that would allow the City of Wildomar to delay paying money it owes the county.
During today’s supervisors meeting, board Chairman John Tavaglione sought to postpone any action on allowing Wildomar to defer payment of nearly $1.8 million owed the county until the end of the current fiscal year to see whether the state takes any action on Senate Bill 89.
County staff had recommended that the supervisors approve a resolution that would have allowed Wildomar to defer repayment of service costs -- for such things as police, fire, animal control, public works, etc. -- that accrued shortly after the city’s July 1, 2008 incorporation.
Government code mandates that counties continue providing existing levels of such services to newly incorporated cities for a period of time, but the “transition year service costs” must be repaid. In Wildomar’s case, the tab totaled $1,777,619.50 to be paid in full by July 1, 2013, according to county documents.
On Feb. 8, however, the city formally requested to defer payment.
City officials blame Sacramento for Wildomar's current financial woes. Last June, the city was hit with a blow when Gov. Jerry Brown signed the state budget package. Part of the package included Senate Bill 89, which stripped the city of its vehicle license fee revenues. New cities had been allotted an increased revenue share from the fees to get off the ground, but the June 30 signing by the governor
"We can't let the state off the hook," Tavaglione said, noting that it might send the wrong message to legislators if the county acts too early to accommodate the cities.
Supervisor Jeff Stone called on the county's state lobbyists to wage a campaign to drum up support for Wildomar and three other newly incorporated Riverside County cities – Menifee, Eastvale, and Jurupa Valley – that were most affected by the cut in vehicle license fee revenues.
"Let's challenge the lobbying firms to perform for us and our cities ... to do what's right," the supervisor said.
The county was looking at giving Wildomar an additional eight years to repay $1,394,376.50 in general fund services it received during the transition period; the city would be still be required to square up its non-general fund services costs of $383,243 by July 1, 2013, according to county documents.
The terms for repaying the $1,394,376.50 did include a minimum annual payment of no less than $100,000 adjusted by any change in the California Consumer Price Index, according to county documents. The minimum payments would have been due starting July 1, 2013. --City News Service contributed to this report.