LOS ANGELES — Some last minute horse-trading over California’s gas tax bill resulted in positive revenue change for a city that once faced disincorporation.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 130 Friday in Jurupa Valley’s city hall.
The bill expands the existing vehicle license fee adjustment to four Riverside County cities: Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Menifee and Wildomar.
The change allows the four cities to receive millions of dollars in additional property tax revenue. The Department of Finance estimates they will collectively receive an additional $19 million annually.
The bill signing ends a five-year effort by Riverside County lawmakers to get the governor to sign this bill. Before this year, he vetoed similar measures.
“SB 130 is a critical measure of fairness and equity which ensures Riverside County’s four newest cities will once again have the resources they need to keep our neighborhoods and families safe,” Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, and Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes, D-Corona, said in a joint statement.
Roth and Cervantes pushed hard to ensure these communities weren't left behind, Brown said.
In 2011, state budget legislation diverted vehicle license fee revenue to pay for grants to local law enforcement as part of efforts to close a deficit.
The move hit the Inland Empire cities especially hard because as newly minted cities -- all incorporated after 2008 – they depended on VLF dollars to a greater degree than older municipalities.
Jurupa Valley nearly disincorporated in 2014. State funding that covered the $22 million cost of county fire services in 2015 brought the city back from the precipice.
Roth and Cervantes gained leverage through Senate Bill 1, a $52.4 billion transportation funding package approved by state legislators in April that hikes the gas tax 12 cents a gallon, raises diesel taxes and imposes new annual fees on vehicles to tackle a massive road repair backlog.
With Republicans opposed to the measure, the governor and Democratic leadership needed all the of the state’s Democrats to vote in favor of the bill to gain the required two-thirds supermajorities.
Roth and Cervantes made a deal to support the transportation bill in exchange for $427 million for Riverside County transportation projects and the return of the VLF money to the four cities.
“This is a major victory that will provide these four cities with the funding they deserve and, in the case of Jurupa Valley, desperately need,” Roth said.
There is no reason why these particular cities should be excluded from receiving an equitable share of state revenue every other California city receives, he said.