Fontana - The Mayor and City Council want to publicly thank Senator Bill Emmerson for his efforts to protect public safety dollars for the City of Fontana.
In June 2011, Governor Brown passed a bill (SB 89) to redistribute Vehicle License Fee (VLF) revenue to replace an expired funding source for local law-enforcement grants. A law in 2006, had given new cities or cities with newly annexed areas additional license fee revenue to help pay for public safety services. In recent years, Fontana has annexed thirteen square miles of unincorporated area, in which these extra VLF funds were supporting public safety services for these residents. This shift in revenue resulted in an approximate loss of $700,000 per year. For most cities in California they lost $3.54 per resident. Fontana, since it recently annexed unincorporated areas, lost $7.52 per resident. Fontana has lost double the amount of other cities in the state.
This shift in funds to cities with newly annexed areas was an unintentional consequence of SB 89. Senator Emmerson understanding the need for public safety funding, joint authored a bill (SB1566) to restore vehicle license fee funding for California’s newest cities and cities with newly annexed areas. Unfortunately, this bill was unsuccessful.
Again, Senator Emmerson along with then Senator McLeod authored a second bill SB1098. This bill made it out of the legislature and onto the Governor’s desk and was vetoed by the Governor in September.
Currently in this 2013 legislative session Senator Emmerson has co-authored a third bill with Senator Roth, SB56. This bill will ensure a fair reduction of the VLF for all cities.
“I am very hopeful that this third time is a charm and I am extremely grateful that our Legislators continue to fight for the constituents they represent. This community is very blessed to have loyal and steadfast Legislators,” stated Mayor Warren.
Fontana Police Chief Rodney Jones supports SB56 because it is the “fair and equitable thing to do.” “I appreciate the economic challenges facing our state; however, the disproportionate share of VLF funds lost to this community is unfair to the residents I serve.” “All we are asking is that Fontana’s share of VLF funds is the same as other California cities.”
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