December 30, 2011 archive

California Cities and Redevelopment Agencies To Hope for 2012 Compromise After Supreme Court Decision


Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza and City Hall funded by a Redevelopment Agency

They can hope but I do not think California Governor Jerry Brown has any incentive to compromise. The fact is that cities and their redevelopment agencies have been ripping off the State of California and other local agencies for decades.

The California Supreme Court on Thursday gave Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers the right to eliminate community redevelopment agencies in a crucial victory on the state budget.

But the fate of the more than 400 redevelopment agencies remains unclear as cities—and even many lawmakers—vowed to seek a legislative compromise next year that would ensure the agencies’ survival.

Brown has little incentive to go along.

The court affirmed the state’s authority to dissolve the agencies, calling it “a proper exercise of the legislative power vested in the Legislature by the state constitution.” Doing so means more of the property taxes generated within redevelopment zones will go toward schools, law enforcement and other local services, freeing up as much as $1.7 billion in the state general fund during the current fiscal year. The money now is returned to the agencies to spend on future redevelopment projects.

Lawmakers and the mayors of several large cities said Thursday they were inclined to work out a compromise after the justices issued their split decision. While they affirmed the Legislature’s authority to dissolve redevelopment agencies, the justices in a unanimous decision invalidated companion legislation passed last summer that was intended to keep the agencies operating by forcing them to direct a certain amount of property tax revenue to schools and other services.

I wonder how the City of Thousand Oaks will be able to fund their redevelopment funded grandiose City Hall and Civic Auditorium?

Oh well, the Conejo Valley Schools should benefit.

But, wait, the schools funded two school based performance auditoriums with redevelopment funds.

What a complicated weave of shifting local tax-funding and that is what Jerry Brown wants to eliminate – plus balance his state budget.

Stay tuned….