Big Bear, Ca, January 10, 2012, 12:00pm – The Big Bear Lake City Council met last night for their regularly scheduled meeting, and the main topic of discussion was the Improvement Agency, and its future. Last year the state of California passed Assembly Bill 26, which eliminated all improvement agencies for all cities across the state. Improvement Agency funds, which come from property taxes in designated areas collected for cities, would be then funneled back to the state. Assembly Bill 27 was put in place so improvement agencies could continue, but would be changed so that they would have very specific projects to work on, however the state supreme court found AB 26 to be legal, and AB 27 to be constitutionally illegal, essentially eliminating all improvement agencies. To continue with contracted projects that started before the elimination of improvement agencies, the Successor Improvement Agency was created and will be in place until all contracts will be completed, and all bonds are paid. The County of San Bernardino Tax Assessor will take over the role of collecting and distributing the funds, which were once collected by the improvement agency. The county will then distribute the funds to other taxing agencies, such as: the City of Big Bear Lake, the Fire Protection District, Bear Valley Unified School District, among others. The City Council then approved to move forward with having the improvement agency repay a loan made to the IA for over $4.6 million by the city, which was loaned when the IA was in its infancy. Council will further discuss the best way to use this repaid loan. It was agreed that this loan repayment should not be used in the general fund to cover on going day-to-day expenses, and could be used for either capitol improvement projects or continuing with business assistance improvements.
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