Counties Protesting Property Tax Money to State in New Budget
One of the snags in the ongoing California budget talks is over how to spend $250 million in property tax money. That money currently goes to counties, but the spending plan put forth last week by legislative Democrats would shift it to the state.
Counties have used this money for years under agreements with newly-dissolved redevelopment agencies. And Paul McIntosh with the California State Association of Counties says it would be extremely difficult to lose those funds at the last minute.
“Many counties have already adopted their budgets, so they would have to go in and rip out general fund money", says McIntosh, “and that general fund money, unfortunately, is going to support public safety, libraries, the things that the counties do with their general fund.”
Counties have an ally in Governor Jerry Brown, who strongly opposes the property tax change. And several Democratic lawmakers who voted for the budget last week did so only after a promise that the counties would keep the money. So budget talks are focused on finding the $250 million somewhere else.