Riverside

In Riverside County, more than $357,594,182 was taken out of school-allocated property taxes to pay State obligations in 2010-2011.  Over $298,852,120 was redirected to satisfy the State's VLF backfill obligation and more than $58,742,062 was redirected to pay for the State's 2004 Economic Recovery Bonds.  (Incomplete information was filed by the receiving entities in Riverside County.)

 

In 2011-12, this diversion grew to $363,097,693 of education-allocated property tax away from Riverside County schools. 

 

Source:  State Controller's Office, Local Government Reporting Section.  (City and county detail shown in the reports, totals upon request from the SCO.)  Also Riverside Auditor-Controller's website.

 

 

Riverside County schools did not receive $374,769,787 of their state funding until after the 2010-11 school year was over.  The delayed payments grew to $521,761,546 for the 2011-12 school year, before declining (thanks to Prop 30) to $359,391,164 this past summer.   This year, it has already been announced that $224,950,765 will be withheld from K-12 schools until the next school year (First Principal Apportionment, published 20 Feb 2014), which should grow by another 50% overall when the Second Principal Apportionment is published in June.  An additional $25 million will be deferred in getting to Riverside County Community Colleges. 

 

Overall, Riverside County schools can reasonably expect to get back promptly just 2% of what they've been forced to lend to the state this year.  From the First Principal Apportionment deferrals alone, this means most of the $24 million withheld from Val Verde Unified, $23 million from Riverside Unified, $21 million from Moreno Valley Unified, $11 from Lake Elsinore Unified, and $10 million from each of Coachella Valley and Palm Springs Unified Districts.  (Other districts are available on the 2013-14 First Principal Apportionment Monthly Payment Schedule Summary Excel spreadsheet on the CDE website.)

 

In 2011-12, of the money taken from all local school-allotted property tax, $104,125,740 was taken from the K-12 schools’ base property tax allocation, and $16,548,364 from the Community Colleges base property tax allocation, after all of the county’s $255 million Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund had been emptied.

 

Can Riverside County's schoolchildren really afford to bankroll California?  With one of the highest gaps between LCFF target funding and 2013-14 reality -- 68% -- it really seems that the answer should be a resounding, NO! 

 

Sources:  For deferrals, see the Funding Excel Files - First and Second Principal Apportionment from the California Dept. of Education; for “negative ERAF” -- monies taken from base allocations, see Ed-data.k12.ca.us from the CA Dept. of Education and the apportionment reports on the California Community Colleges Chancellor's website.

 

 

Unfortunately, these base tax diversions don't show up in the information published to local residents.  A local taxpayer might reasonably assume that his/her schools were receiving 47% -- almost half of the property tax dollars remitted, where 21% is closer to the actual amount!  (Of the total general 1% tax levy, of around $2.7 billion, $500 million goes to schools and $57 million to community colleges ... about a fifth.)  In Riverside County, almost 26¢ of every tax dollar is redirected to repay the state's obligations -- just slightly less than goes for Redevelopment.

From the Riverside Auditor-Controller's PAFR 2012 Financial Highlights report. 

How did we arrive at this conclusion?  We can see the percentages above on the Auditor-Controller's AB8 Apport Factor AUCB9903  spreadsheet available on the website.  But that spreadsheet doesn't reflect the $120 million that was taken away from educational base property tax allocations.  (Do you see how this this bizarre mechanism for repaying the state's debts confuses everyone?)