When Jurupa Valley became a city more than six years ago, Google and other online maps had it mislabeled. Also, city officials had to fight for the return for state taxes that hit its budget hard.
After victories in both cases, the city now has a new mission — ensuring that the 92509 zip code is designated as “Jurupa Valley, CA” and not “Riverside, CA.”
It appears to be seeing some success.
Jurupa Valley officials are petitioning the U.S. Postal Service to make Jurupa Valley the primary city for the 92509 zip code, which is one of two zips in the city. The other is 91752, which covers the Mira Loma neighborhood.
Today, the Postal Service lists Riverside as the city for the 92509 zip — though none of the city of Riverside is in 92509, Jurupa Valley City Manager Gary Thompson said.
That means that any home, business, school, park or site in that zip has an address with “Riverside, CA” instead of “Jurupa Valley, CA.” City officials say this causes confusion and leads people to think Jurupa Valley is actually part of neighboring Riverside.
“It doesn’t make sense another city is listed when the zip code is solely in our city,” said Thompson, who raised the issue in a July 3 letter to the postmaster general.
The Postal Service’s San Diego regional office, which oversees the area that includes 92509, began looking into the issue last week. A postal district manager has requested that change, Postal Service spokeswoman Eva Jackson said Thursday, July 13.
The Postal Service has asked for boundary maps from the city and will update its database, which should take a few weeks, Jackson said. Once the changes are made, 92509 will default to Jurupa Valley, meaning it will be listed as the primary city for that zip.
“It was actually a pretty easy fix,” Jackson said.
The postal listing became an issue for the city in April when Riverside’s sales tax went up 8.75 percent — one percent higher than Jurupa Valley.
Several Jurupa Valley businesses started charging the higher tax rate to their customers, Thompson said. Businesses, from local “mom and pops” to corporate fast food chains, were told by the state Franchise Tax Board to apply the Riverside tax rate because that’s what was in its database for that zip code, he said.
Since then, Jurupa Valley has worked with its legislative representatives and the state Board of Equalization to make sure the correct tax rate is charged. Changing the postal designation would help clear up the confusion, city officials say.
“It’s kind of an important issue for us to be identified as our own city and our own identity and protect our residents from being overtaxed,” Mayor Verne Lauritzen said.
Jurupa Valley’s other zip code — 91752 — is designated as Mira Loma and has not caused similar problems because the neighborhood is part of the city, Thompson said.
At first, city officials couldn’t reach the right person at the Postal Service. But after sending the letter, which the city shared with Rep. Mark Takano, D-Riverside, “the ball is rolling,” Thompson said.
“Bottom line is we got to the right person and I’m very pleased by the response,” he said.
Neighboring Eastvale, which shares 91752 with Jurupa Valley and 92880 with Corona, has been pressing for years on a similar issue. But in its case, the city seeks a brand new zip code for Eastvale, a move that would require Congressional approval.
Eastvale officials say the zip codes have caused confusion and having their own would help establish a city identity.
Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Corona, last year introduced legislation that would do so. In January, the bill was sent to the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform.