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League of Cities Measure Would Hurt County

November 09, 2003

Re "Cities Give, States Take Away," Commentary, Nov. 2:

The League of California Cities' initiative is ballot-box budgeting and bad for Orange County. The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted 5 to 0 to oppose the measure.

This proposal locks in current fiscal inequities to our disadvantage. Orange County receives only 7% of local property taxes, ranking last statewide, while Los Angeles County gets 26% and Sacramento County, 21%.

This proposal locks in current sales tax allocation. Cities will continue their grab for big-box retail and annexation of commercial property, leaving counties with revenue-poor areas.

This proposal locks in vast inequities among cities. In 2001, for example, in sales and property tax revenue (including redevelopment), Brea received $1,060 per capita, compared with Fullerton's $397. Is this fair? Is this a system worth protecting?

This proposal makes permanent the worst features of our state fiscal system. By requiring voter approval for any changes, it precludes the very reforms that are so necessary.

Chris Norby

Orange County Supervisor

4th District

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