County Treasurer Recalculates Grand Terrace’s Post-RDA Property Tax Revenue Yet Again

(February 27)  The city of Grand Terrace has been crossed up once again by the county treasurer/tax collector’s office, which for the third time in the last eight months has recalculated the amount of property tax residuals the Blue Mountain City will receive as a consequence of the shuttering of its redevelopment agency.
In 2011, the state closed out municipal redevelopment agencies statewide. That change was particularly hard on Grand Terrace, the county’s third smallest city population-wise and smallest in terms of viable commercial development, which translates into very low sales tax revenue. The city had traditionally relied upon its redevelopment agency to fund the employment of about one-sixth of its staff.
When the city passed its current 2013-14 budget, it had done so based on the county tax collector/treasurer’s representation that the city would be entitled to and would actually receive 20 percent of its post-redevelopment era property tax residuals.
City officials passed a preliminary budget in June that carried with it the possibility that city operations would be cut back on January 1 if city voters did not approve a utility tax in November. That measure did, in fact, fail, but city officials were heartened to learn shortly thereafter that the city would actually be receiving 45 percent of its property tax residuals.
The previously planned-upon cuts to municipal operations that were to go into effect with the new year were not triggered.
Within the last fortnight, however, the city’s financial consultant, the Rosenow Spevacek Group, informed acting city manager Ken Henderson that Grand Terrace can count upon receiving 29 percent of its property tax residuals.
The city council, which was scheduled to review the city’s mid-year budget figures and make any appropriate adjustments on February 25, put that discussion off until its March 11 meeting at which point its members hope to have firmer numbers with regard to the city’s eroding and fluid financial condition.

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