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Another bill for taxpayers

first_imgIn a settlement, Baldwin Park agreed to share with Rosemead the sales tax revenue generated by Laidlaw for 10 years. Rosemead says that since that settlement Baldwin Park has shorted it almost $40,000. The two cities have tried, but have been unable to reach an agreement. Thus a another lawsuit was filed this week. Such litigation between public agencies is on the rise. When you think about the amount of money at stake, compare it to the legal fees incurred by both sides. Attorney fees for similar cases far exceed $100,000. For example, when Covina sued West Covina over Clippinger Chevrolet’s relocation, the attorney fees for West Covina alone were $182,000. The quest for sales tax revenue is expensive. As we watch Rosemead move forward on a lawsuit against Baldwin Park for lost sales tax revenues, it begs the question, “Who will pay the cost of this litigation between public agencies?” Unsurprisingly, the answer is we will. Both sides will use our tax dollars to pay their legal bills. This particular court battle stems from a 2004 judge’s ruling that Baldwin Park illegally used redevelopment funds to lure Laidlaw’s Harley-Davidson away from its 40-year home in Rosemead. In the Laidlaw case, we’re talking about a disagreement involving less than $150,000 in tax revenue over the 10-year life of the settlement. Yet that amount is most likely less than the attorney fees needed to litigate the issue. No matter which side wins, that $150,000 in tax revenue will still belong to the public. The only thing the litigation does is add an obligation that taxpayers cough-up an even larger sum to cover all the public agency attorney fees. When the state collects sales taxes, it rebates a portion to local government, not based upon population, but instead determined by where the tax revenue was generated. Baldwin Park is just one of many public agencies using redevelopment funds to lure big sales tax generators. California’s redevelopment law allows cities to give retailers such as car dealers, Costco, Wal-Mart, even pro sports teams nearly free land and a share of the extra sales tax they will generate. Laidlaw moved to a better location and pocketed the public’s redevelopment funds. Baldwin Park broke the law, but was rewarded with huge, new sales tax revenue. Rosemead’s attorneys and Baldwin Park’s attorneys will all make a pile of money. And the public gets absolutely nothing, except a bill to cover everyone’s costs. In its pamphlet, “Redevelopment: The Unknown Government,” Municipal Officials for Redevelopment Reform call such redevelopment deals a “tax shell game.” We watch as La Mirada lures a car dealer away from Buena Park, and Buena Park obtains dealerships from Fullerton. And each time the taxpayers pick up the tab for the “economic incentives” and legal expenses in what both cities and developers promote as “public-private partnerships.” Richard P. McKee is a La Verne resident and past president of Californians Aware, an open-government advocacy group. Comment at www.insidesocal.com/editors160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impa

first_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact While Arians is in the top-half of the list, he’s dead last in the NFC West, as the panel rated Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll second, San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh eighth and St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher 11th.ESPN’s Mike Sando noted that Arians received accolades from the panel for stepping in as interim head coach for the Indianapolis Colts in 2012, and for doubling the Cardinals’ win total in his first season in Arizona.He’s getting credit for how he handled the situation in Indianapolis when cancer sidelined Chuck Pagano. He’s getting credit for taking Arizona to a 10-6 record after the Cardinals had gone 5-11 the previous season. Winning in Seattle one season after the Cardinals lost there by a 58-0 count works in his favor. “He is great with quarterbacks, has a very good offensive mind and a strong personality,” one GM said. “Look at what he did in Indy and what he has done in Arizona. Great hire.”Can Arians crack the top-10 list in the near future? Some panel members are taking a wait-and-see approach.A couple of voters thought the 2014 season would be revealing. One thought the 2013 schedule fell right for Arizona as several of the Cardinals’ opponents seemed to be in disarray.The panel rated New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick as the NFL’s best and Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen as the league’s worst. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories He only has one full season of NFL head coaching experience, but Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians is already getting plenty of respect from his peers.A panel of 30 NFL insiders, including current and former general managers, personnel directors, coordinators and position coaches, rated Arians as the 13th-best current head coach in the league.The survey, which was also broken down into tiers, placed Arians in the second of four tiers of head coaches — a group that includes former Super Bowl champions such as Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh, New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin and Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy.center_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 0 Comments   Share   last_img read more