California's Supreme Court ruled on Monday that Los Angeles County owes 47 cities — including Alhambra — tens of millions of dollars, Pasadena Star-News reports. The county withheld tax dollars by charging property tax administrative fees on education money, which is exempt from these fees under state law.
Alhambra challenged the fees in court in 2008 and was joined by dozens of other cities. While the exact numbers haven't been confirmed, Alhambra may receive $129,817 a year from the case, Michael Colantuono, the attorney who represented the plaintiff cities, told the Star-News. The largest winner in the case was the City of Long Beach, which will receive approximately $654,000 a year.
The cities won't receive any money until both sides go back to court to argue how far the refunds should go back, a ruling the Star-News says isn't expected for months.
The case will affect other counties in California, according to Michael Coleman, fiscal policy advisor to the League of California Cities. Coleman told KPCC that most of the state's counties applied the same accounting methods and also owe millions of dollars to their incorporated cities.