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New law requires Valley cities to pay 50% of LAFCO expenses

January 06, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

The county's seven incorporated cities will be required to pay 50 percent of the expenses of the Local Agency Formation Commission beginning July 1 under a new state law.

Assembly Bill 2838 requires the county and cities split the cost.

Under the formula used to split the costs among the cities, El Centro's share of an estimated $50,300 LAFCO budget for 1999-2000 is $14,109.84, or 56.1 percent of the cities' share.

"LAFCO performs an invaluable function for the county and the cities," said El Centro Mayor Cheryl Walker. "We recognize the value of that contribution."

The city of Brawley is responsible for $3,521.03, or 14 percent of the estimated costs.

Brawley Mayor Wayne Johnson said he is unfamiliar with the new law and could not comment.

The other cities' shares are, Calexico, $4,587.31, or 18.24 percent; Imperial, $1,101.44, or 4.38 percent; Holtville, $852.58, or 3.39 percent; Calipatria, $532.54, or 2.12 percent; and Westmorland, $445.25, or 1.77 percent.

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Calexico Mayor Javier Alatorre could not be reached for comment.

The amount each city is required to pay is based on the total revenues reported by each city to the state, multiplied by each city's share of that total revenue, according to county Auditor/Controller Douglas Newland.

"It's a pretty simple calculation," he said, adding the new law requires the auditor/controller to collect the moneys from each city. He said the most recent fiscal year for which revenue information is available is 1997-98.

The law, signed by the governor in September, states "The cities' share shall be apportioned in proportion to each city's total revenues, as reported in the most recent edition of the cities annual report published by the controller, as a percentage of the combined city revenues within a county, or by an alternative method approved by a majority of cities representing the majority of the combined cities' populations."

The law includes many other changes to local government organization.

Staff writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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