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County to grab $73 million from schools, force state to make up for it

County to grab $73 million from schools, force state to make up for it
Jesse Bluma at Pointe Viven. All rights reserved.

Robbing Peter to pay Paul?  If anyone is thinking the economy, budget, and spending is getting better they may have to rethink.  Any dynamic suggestions for our state of the state please post below.

· posted by Kimberly Edds, Staff Writer

In a bold move to make up for $49.5 million in tax revenues lost to the state earlier this year the County of Orange will grab $73.5 million in property taxes once destined for local school districts, County Supervisors Chairman Bill Campbell said Monday.

Campbell said that state coffers, not the school districts, will suffer, because a state law mandates that it backfill the reduction in local revenue.

County employees who were scheduled to be laid off December 1 as a result of the county’s $49.5 million shortfall received an unexpected reprieve.

Prop. 98, which locks in a number of school funding formulas, requires the state to backfill the funding cut, said Campbell, who is board chairman.
“We believe the school districts will not be harmed by this action,” Campbell said.
Sundstrom will issue his annual estimates of tax allocations to local jurisdictions today, and they will include $73.5 million less for the county’s school districts.

“Orange County taxpayers are going to be able to keep taxpayer money in the county to be spent on the county services they deserve to have,” Campbell said.
Orange County’s tactics are expected to find few fans in Sacramento, which is facing its own mid-year cuts to schools and other services.

“The county’s intended decision to withhold money owed to schools is not only misguided, but likely illegal,” said H.D. Palmer, spokesman for the state Department of Finance. “We are considering all of our legal options in the event that the county attempts to carry out this action.

“I sympathize with the County, and understand why it’s taking such aggressive action,” said Assemblyman Jose Solorio, who unsuccessfully tried to reverse the state’s money grab in September. “But we really need to find a fair solution in Sacramento that works for the County, local schools and the state on an annual basis.”

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