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League-Supported Local Finance Measure Unanimously Passes Policy Committee

SB 56 Receives Bipartisan Support, Advances to Its First Fiscal Committee

June 21, 2013
A measure providing newly incorporated cities and annexations with property tax revenues in lieu of state Vehicle License Fee (VLF) funds received unanimous bipartisan support on Wednesday in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee.
SB 56 (Roth) addresses issues produced by SB 89 (Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review) that was part of the FY 2011–2012 budget.
The passage of SB 89 two years ago immediately harmed cities by eliminating $130 million in city VLF funds and overlooking future city annexations of inhabited areas. Sen. Richard Ross (D-Riverside) introduced SB 56 at the start of this session to remedy these errors and provide vital funding to current and future cities subjected to SB 89’s provisions.
In its current version, SB 56 retroactively amends specific SB 89 policies stemming from the 2004 VLF-property tax swap. The bill’s provisions restore the fiscal foundation needed to support future city annexations of inhabited areas; in addition to restoring previous beneficial policies that encourage city growth and boost economic viability.   
For more on SB 56 and SB 89, please see “Bill to Help Restore Lost VLF to Newly Incorporated Cities Annexations Attract League Support,” CA Cities Advocate, April 5, 2013.
Take Action
It’s important that the bill’s impressive momentum continues to pass it out of the Senate. City officials are encouraged to submit SB 56 support letters now because the bill will be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee. A date for that hearing has not been set but when it is, notification will go out through the weekly Bills in Committee story in CA Cities Advocate.
A sample support letter as well the bill’s language is available online.

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