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News Release

April 7, 2004

CONTACT: Angela Rushen
Media and Communications Office 909.413.3053

City Council supports Local Taxpayers and Public Safety Protection Act

The Moreno Valley City Council passed a resolution supporting the Local Taxpayers and Public Safety Protection Act, a statewide ballot initiative that gives voters the final say as to whether local tax funds may be taken, confiscated, shifted, diverted or otherwise used to fund state government operations and responsibilities.

Continual shifts and raids by the state of local property tax funds and other funding dedicated to Moreno Valley has seriously reduced resources available for local public safety, health, emergency medical, roads, parks, libraries and other essential local services. In a comparison with 45 other cities with populations of 100,000 or more, Moreno Valley ranks last in general revenues per capita, and last in per capita spending on police and fire services, according to the State Controller’s Office in its annual publication, “State of California Cities Annual Report.”

In addition to being unfair to local taxpayers, the current and future loss of local revenues to the state are impacting the ability of the city to provide adequate public safety services and other resident services.

“Our public safety spending is constrained by our lack of general tax revenues,” said Moreno Valley Finance Director Steve Chapman. “Moreno Valley incorporated after the passage of Prop 13, so the city receives about half of what the typical, older city receives in terms of property tax dollars,” he said. While Moreno Valley’s property tax and sales tax revenue base has been improving the past three years, it has not allowed the City Council to afford the expansion of public safety services, especially police services that the city desired. “Moreno Valley is a lean, efficient city that has managed to provide these critical public safety services with half of the tax revenue that other cities receive,” City Manager Gene Rogers said. “Given our low tax base, our service levels are extraordinarily vulnerable to any actions by the state that result in the taking of local tax revenues.”

In the comparison of general revenue per capita, the City of Santa Clara ranks first with $1,117 per resident, while Moreno Valley ranks last and receives $257. With a 46-city average of $500, Moreno Valley receives 51% of the average city’s general revenue per capita. Moreno Valley is able to spend only 56% of what the average city spends for police and 42% of what the average city spends for fire.

The Moreno Valley City Council adopted the resolution in support of the Local Taxpayers and Public Safety Protection Act on March 23, 2004. Business and taxpayer associations, fire and emergency service agencies, public safety and local government agencies statewide support the measure.

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