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MAYORS PONDER SALES TAX SHARING.

Byline: Jim Skeen / Daily News Staff Writer

The idea of sharing sales tax revenue between Palmdale and Lancaster is surfacing again, but this time the mayors of the two cities are optimistic a deal can be struck.

The two mayors and staffers from both cities plan to meet Thursday to discuss the concept of such an agreement. Officials from both cities categorize the meeting as a ``get-together'' and say no formal proposals will be presented.

``We are very interested,'' Lancaster Mayor Frank Roberts said of the concept of a sales tax sharing agreement. ``I believe we can come to some type of agreement.''

In July, Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford presented his City Council with a resolution calling for the cities to prepare a ballot measure that would have the two cities share sales tax revenue on a per capita basis.

That proposal drew a rebuke from Lancaster officials - who said it would result in Lancaster giving Palmdale approximately $1 million annually - and was shelved by the Palmdale City Council.

Now both mayors are in agreement on general parameters of a sales tax agreement.

``There would have to be a benchmark of the existing sales tax so neither city would have to write the other a check,'' Ledford said. ``Then we set a date in the future after which sales tax would be split.''

Even if there is a meeting of the minds between the two cities, crafting an agreement and putting it before the voters likely will take months.

``It's not going to happen in a year,'' Roberts said.

While the cities discuss the concept they also will be keeping their eyes on Assembly Constitutional Amendment 10, a bill by Assemblyman George Runner, R-Lancaster, aimed at making it easier for cities to enact sales tax sharing agreements.

ACA 10 would allow cities and counties to enter into sales tax sharing agreement by a two-thirds vote of their governing boards.

Existing state law allows for communities to share sales tax revenue provided their voters approve. Supporters of ACA 10 say the requirement for voter approval makes it difficult to enact such agreements and renders agreements regarding individual businesses virtually impossible.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 13, 1997
Words:359
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