Pomona Refuses to Pay Bill From County

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Accusing Los Angeles County officials of exceeding their authority, the City Council has refused to pay $183,077 demanded by the county for collecting property taxes for the city redevelopment agency.

"This is an illegal bill," said Mayor Donna Smith, citing an opinion from the League of California Cities that counties cannot charge redevelopment agencies for tax collection costs.

State legislation last year authorized counties to levy administrative fees for collecting property taxes for cities, schools and other local agencies. But Jim Harrington, assistant policy director of the League of California Cities, said redevelopment agencies are not covered by the law and should be exempt.

The Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency, which was billed $2.2 million by the county, also has refused to pay.

Pomona City Administrator Julio Fuentes said Pomona is already paying $218,000 to the county for collecting city property taxes and faces about $200,000 in new county fees for booking prisoners into jail.

Pomona and other cities are seeking state legislation that would eliminate the fees and provide other revenue sources for counties.

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