Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS

FROM: ASSISTANT TO THE CITY MANAGER

DATE: APRIL 6, 2004

SUBJECT: REQUEST TO SUPPORT LOS ANGELES COUNTY PUBLIC SAFETY AND HOMELAND SECURITY SALES TAX INITIATIVE

RECOMMENDATION

Consider authorizing the Mayor to send a letter in support of the Los Angeles County Public Safety and Homeland Security Sales Tax Initiative.

BACKGROUND/DISCUSSION

The half cent sales tax revenue would be used for additional personnel for law enforcement, local anti-terrorism, homeland security, intelligence gathering, and first response capabilities to extraordinary emergencies; communications and specialized equipment for law enforcement personnel throughout Los Angeles County and support resources required for regional and countywide mutual-aid effectiveness; expansion of inter-agency coordination and standardized training for public safety services.

Of the new dedicated revenue source, the Los Angeles Police Department would receive 34%, the Sheriff's Department would get 33% and the rest would be split among municipalities with police departments based on population percentage. The City of Rancho Palos Verdes’ allocation is estimated to be $2,353,713 per year. Funding earmarked for public safety is not intended to supplant General Fund monies for law enforcement services, but to enhance services above FY 03-04 levels. Any unspent funds by a public agency will be held in a public safety reserve trust account established by that entity.

The proposal also includes the creation of an oversight committee to monitor funding allocation. This committee will consist of a city manager and finance director from the League of California Cities, Los Angeles Division, the President of the Los Angeles County Police Chiefs’ Association, the Sheriff of Los Angeles County and a contract city manager from the California Contract Cities Association.

FISCAL IMPACT

None associated with this report.

PREPARED BY

Gina Park

Assistant to the City Manager

APPROVED BY

Les Evans

City Manager

Attachment:

  1. Draft Letter
  2. Half Cent Sales Tax Allocation Summary
  3. Proposed Law of the Los Angeles County Public Safety and Homeland Security Sales Tax Initiative

Date

Leroy D. Baca

Sheriff

County of Los Angeles

Dear Sheriff Baca:

On behalf of the City Council of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, I wish to express our unanimous support of the Los Angeles County Public Safety and Homeland Security Sales Tax Initiative that will increase the County sales tax by one-half cent to 8.75% to generate approximately $500 million dedicated to public safety.

It is our understanding that this dedicated revenue will allow cities throughout Los Angeles County to strengthen public safety, homeland security and local anti-terrorism efforts as independent cities and as a region through inter-agency coordination and training. In these tough economic times and period of uncertain national security, the City Council agrees it is essential to earmark a sustainable revenue source for adequate law enforcement services to protect our streets, neighborhoods, schools and businesses.

For years, the state legislature and governor have approved laws that divert, use or delay the payment of local tax revenues to local governments. To the detriment of critical local government services and programs, this drain of local revenues has continued even during periods when the state’s budget has been overflowing with surpluses as well as during difficult fiscal years. The City of Rancho Palos Verdes already provides the minimal level of municipal services and cannot continue deferring long term capital maintenance projects in order to sustain the City’s largest budgeted expense, the public safety contract with the Sheriff Department. The Los Angeles County Public Safety and Homeland Security Sales Tax Initiative will provide cities like ours with the needed financial boost for law enforcement programs without sacrificing other important city services.

The City Council commends your leadership and vision to propose the Los Angeles County Public Safety and Homeland Security Sales Tax Initiative.

Sincerely,

Peter C. Gardiner

Mayor