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Countywide : Bill Would Repeal Tax-Collection Fee

State Sen. Gary K. Hart (D-Santa Barbara) said he and a Northern California assemblyman introduced companion bills this week to repeal a new law that allows county governments to charge school districts for collecting the schools’ share of property taxes.

Hart said the Legislature made a mistake last summer by passing a budget agreement that shifted the financial burden from counties to school districts.

The same law allows counties to charge cities every time their police officers book someone into county jail. That provision of the law has come under fire from state Sen. Ed Davis (R-Santa Clarita), who proposes overturning the booking fee.

“This law pits local agency against local agency,” said Assemblyman Ted Lempert (D-San Mateo), who joined with Hart in an attempt to exempt schools from the law. “Counties are now in a position to take up to $150 million in badly needed funds from our schools.”

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When legislators passed the budget, they assumed Gov. George Deukmejian would give schools a full 4.76% cost-of-living raise, Hart said. Instead, the governor cut the cost-of-living adjustment to 3%.

“Legislators made a mistake in believing that Gov. Deukmejian would not cut education funds,” Hart said. “But our schools can’t afford to pay for our mistake.”


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