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Court: Mission Viejo Can Keep its $2.65 Million

Mission Viejo's lawsuit pays off and the city wins a round in the ongoing redevelopment feud between state and city governments.

Mission Viejo can keep its $2.65 million after winning a lawsuit this week against the state and county.

The city was told it owed the money to various local governments following the dissolution of its redevelopment agency. See a list of these governments below.

But City Treasurer Cheryl Dyas said the state's calculations were wrong and the city owed nothing more.

Here's how Mayor Frank Ury put it: "The state in its wisdom decided to bill us twice for something we’d already paid for."

Dyas did a "superb job" arguing that the city owed nothing more, City Attorney William Curley said. And she "did it with such a level of sophistication that the state and county couldn’t figure it out."

That's what led to the city filing a lawsuit, which was announced in July, he said.

Many other cities chose to pay the state under protest rather than risk penalties, fines and the withholding of taxes for nonpayment, Curley said. Those governments will now need to take their money back from the state if they wish to have it returned.

Curley said the city’s "hard line" position "paid off handsomely."

Here are the governments that will not receive any portion of the $2.65 million:

  • South Orange County Community College District
  • Saddleback Valley Unified School District
  • Orange County Fire Authority
  • Orange County Department of Education
  • County of Orange
  • Capistrano Unified School District
  • Moulton Niguel Water District
Sharon Cody October 19, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Wait a darn minute here! The governments that will not receive a portion of the $2.65 million have already received this amount in what is termed the "pass through". The law suit was about making the city pay it twice. The way this article is written it sounds as though we are withholding funds from some worthy agencies when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. When the former redevelopment agency received those funds they were immediately passed right on to the agencies listed. The city was being asked to send a duplicate payment that was not owed. Unlike most other redevelopment agencies, our city made sure these agencies got their share FIRST. WAY to go Cheryl and Bill!
Dan Avery October 19, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Good catch there, Sharon! I was thinking the same thing.
Sarah Nordell October 22, 2012 at 11:41 PM
This is a helpful booklet for those who want to know more about the issues surrounding "redevelopment." http://www.redevelopment.us/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/RUG-2006-final.pdf

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