Lake County Supes release vehicle abatement funds

Jan 17, 2017


It looks like the Lake County government is going to cleanup the area's abandoned cars as the Board of Supervisors cleared up more than $350,000 dollars in vehicle abatement fees last week.


According to Lake County news, the funding will go towards removing cars in the unincorporated part of the county and the cities of Lakeport and Clearlake. The fees reportedly come from a $1 registration fee added mutually by the county and the cities back in 1991.


The funds, the news site said, haven't been dispersed since 2012 because the county government wasn't sure if the fee was reclassified as a tax by 2010's Proposition 26. Despite this, the local department of motor vehicle locations have continued to collect.


Yet, in a related staff report to the Supervisors County Counsel Anita Grant argued that it wasn't considered an unlawful tax, saying“ The Attorney General’s Office concluded that when charges required to be collected by cities and counties ... are intended principally for the protection of the health and safety of the public, they are validly levied regulatory fees and do not constitute an unlawful tax.”


Regardless , the decision has been praised by local leaders in Lakeport and Clearlake. The report quoted Lakeport City Manager Margaret Silveira as saying it is a great tool for the city.


Meanwhile, Clearlake Councilman Bruno Sabatier said on his Facebook page, “We needed this. I believe that we have not had access to these funds in over five years, if not more.”