Santa Clarita Councilmember Bob Kellar visited Sacramento Wednesday to provide testimony at a hearing held by the California State Assembly’s Committee on Local Government in support of Assembly Bill 213 (AB 213). Authored by Assembly Member Eloise Reyes (D-47-San Bernardino), the bill revises the formula for allocating Vehicle License Fee (VLF) adjustment amounts to restore revenues to cities that have annexed developed areas since the implementation of Senate Bill 89. AB 213 also restores generated revenue for future city annexations.
The Vehicle License Fee (VLF) is a tax on the ownership of a registered vehicle, in place of taxing vehicles as personal property. In 2011, Senate Bill 89, Chapter 35, redirected VLF revenues away from newly incorporated cities and annexations of inhabited areas, and diverted funds to the Local Law Enforcement Account to help fund Assembly Bill 109, the Public Safety Realignment Act.
“The loss in Vehicle License Fee revenues has required the City to reallocate resources from other programs to fund the maintenance for newly annexed areas,” said Kellar in his testimony. As a result of Senate Bill 89, the City of Santa Clarita lost an estimated $390,000 annually in VLF revenues. Assembly Bill 213 would restore the estimated $390,000 in annual lost revenue for the fiscal year in which the bill is signed and every year thereafter.
“As the City considers future annexations, and the long-term maintenance of these areas, it is critical that Vehicle License Fee revenues be restored to cities. Assembly Bill 213 will appropriately restore the incentive for cities to annex inhabited areas in an ultimate effort to improve service delivery and maintenance of adequate infrastructure within the respective communities,” added Kellar.
Following Councilmember Kellar’s comments and additional testimonies, Assembly Bill 213 was unanimously approved by the Assembly Committee on Local Government. The bill is slated to be sent next to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations for consideration.