Part of the State Legislature’s plan to balance its own budget called for a $48 million grab from Orange County’s coffers. The grab, which would result in cuts and potential job loss, will not go uncontested, as the Board of Supervisors has instructed its Controller to withhold sending the $48 million to Sacramento.

The money, which comes from Vehicle License Fees, had been earmarked to the County since it declared bankruptcy in the 1990s. However, restructuring that debt earlier this year apparently disqualified the County from retaining further revenues. When Governor Brown’s staff realized this, they swooped in to take the money.

But now the battle begins. The Board, recognizing that it won’t be as simple as shorting a check to Sacramento, is gearing up for the fight.

From the Voice of the OC:

Rather than lose $48 million in vehicle license fees – the result of a budget-time tax grab by Gov. Jerry Brown last summer – Orange County officials are poised to defy the state by not only refusing to send that money to Sacramento but keeping a total of $73 million in vehicle fee revenue.

The expected move by county leaders, which they say must be done in order to avoid layoffs and other austere budget cuts, is an aggressive and rarely seen tactic in which a locality unilaterally shifts decisions about how to distribute taxes from Sacramento to the local level.

Read the full article here.