The crazy trail of state and local money that left the Town of Mammoth short another million dollars has brought officials together in search of a solution.
Over the years, state government kept local tax money and set up trails of fund swapping to pay it back. Mammoth got caught in the swaps this year. At a recent meeting of the Mono Supervisors, four board members – all but Chairman Bill Reid – made it clear they want to help the Town of Mammoth, already shy an earlier million dollars.
Town Manager Rob Clark said that staff level meetings will now follow. Clark said County Administrator Dave Wilbrecht, Finance Officer Brian Muir, Brad Koehn and Clark will meet to look over options.
Here's the deal – the State earlier kept cities' sales tax and vehicle license fee money and pressed counties to compensate cities through the Education Revenue Augmentation Fund or ERAF. Counties, cities and special districts contribute money to the education fund.
This year, with Mono County schools qualifying as Basic Aid schools that live on local property tax dollars alone, no local agency contributed to the education fund. The Town of Mammoth had no source of payback. It's complex.
Manager Clark said that in the long run, legislation will probably have to clear up the confusion. In the short term, the Town just needs the money.