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Meeting Date:  June 13, 2000

Subject/Title:     Authorize City Attorney to add the City to an amicus brief in County of   

                           Sonoma, et al. v. California Department of Finance, et al.

Submitted by:    Dennis Beougher, City Attorney

Approved by:     Jon Elam, City Manager


Authorize the City Attorney to add the City of Brentwood’s name to an amicus brief in County of Sonoma, et al. v. California Department of Finance, et al. concerning an appeal of a trial court’s decision that the Education Revenue Augmentation Fund (“ERAF”) legislation violated the State Constitution that requires the state to reimburse public agencies for state mandates.  



The State passed legislation in 1992-93 authorizing a property tax revenue shift from public agencies to the state.   This action caused a shifting of traditional local public agency revenue, property tax, to the state and thereby local public agencies sustained a large revenue loss.


The County of Sonoma filed an action claiming that the State legislation authorizing the ERAF property tax shift constituted a reimbursable state mandate under Section XIII B 6 of the California Constitution.   The County argued that the California Constitution requires state government to pay for programs and services for which it is responsible under our Constitution and/or state law.  The property tax shift completed by the ERAF legislation is therefore a reimbursable state mandate.

The trial court ruled in favor of the County of Sonoma and the State has appealed the decision to the First Circuit Court of Appeal.   The County has asked the League of California Cities to coordinate an amicus brief to be filed on behalf of the cities which authorize participation in the brief.

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