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Assemblyman Ken Cooley Honored by Citrus Heights City Council | Community

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Assemblyman Ken Cooley Honored by Citrus Heights City Council
Assemblyman Ken Cooley Honored by Citrus Heights City Council

Assemblyman Ken Cooley Honored by Citrus Heights City Council

RANCHO CORDOVA – Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) announced today that he is being honored by the city of Citrus Heights for his work on behalf of the City to resolve its dispute with the State of California over redevelopment agency funds. The city’s work on this issue, aided by Assemblyman Cooley, ultimately saved the city and its taxpayers almost $8 million dollars.

In 2008, Citrus Heights made the prudent decision to fund its redevelopment agency via a loan of monies from its general fund, instead of funding through a bond which would have cost Citrus Heights taxpayers nearly $500,000 more in associated costs. In June of 2011, legislation was passed and signed by Governor Brown effectively ending redevelopment agencies and phasing out their activities into other local successor agencies over a period of years.

Part of this legislation and the clean-up bills that followed created a complex, oftentimes frustrating set of rules and formulas for how cities should pay back or expend the funds they already had in their redevelopment agencies’ accounts. Among those caught up in the new rules was the loan Citrus Heights made in 2008 which the Department of Finance ruled was actually money owed back to the state at nearly $8 million dollars. The Department of Finance threatened to withhold state tax dollars owed to the city unless the $8 million was paid, leading the City to file two separate lawsuits against the Department to protect their general fund and future tax dollars.  

Beginning in 2013, Assemblyman Cooley worked diligently with Citrus Heights and the Department of Finance to try and find an equitable solution that did not harm Citrus Heights or its taxpayers. “The city of Citrus Heights is an exceptionally well-managed and financially prudent,” Cooley said. “Unfortunately, Citrus Heights was caught up in a punitive statutory formula that made no sense based on the facts. I advocated strongly with the Governor’s office, the Department of Finance, and the Speaker’s office that Citrus Heights should be protected and made whole.”

In December, 2015 Citrus Heights reached a settlement agreement with the Department of Finance with the city waiving all claims against the Department and the Department agreeing that the remaining redevelopment funds owed to the state were paid in full. Thursday night, the city council honored Assemblyman Cooley’s resilient effort and advocacy on its behalf by presenting him with a proclamation. “I greatly appreciate the recognition by Citrus Heights for the part I played in helping to bring this issue to resolution,” Cooley said. “I would also like to thank the Citrus Heights’ staff for their tireless work on this issue without which we would not have been able to move forward.”

Assemblyman Ken Cooley represents the 8th Assembly District which includes the communities of Arden-Arcade, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova, Rancho Murieta, Rosemont, Wilton and other portions of unincorporated Sacramento County.   For more information, please visit http://asmdc.org/members/a08/

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