Redevelopment Still Marked For Death

Redevelopment Still Marked For Death

Photo by Sam Hodgson

Downtown San Diego

 

When we last left the saga of California’s redevelopment agencies two months ago, Gov. Jerry Brown had fallen one vote short in the state Assembly to eliminate them. With the release of his revised budget proposal Monday, Brown is trying again:

Because redevelopment of specific areas is a local economic responsibility, rather than the state’s, the May revision maintains the Governor’s Budget proposal to eliminate redevelopment agencies. Redevelopment costs the state more than $2 billion annually in lost school property taxes, and its effectiveness on a statewide basis is questionable. By eliminating the agencies, more funds can be returned to cities, counties, special districts, and schools to invest in core services such as hiring police officers, firefighters, and teachers.

Redevelopment is a state program that allows local governments to divert property taxes from schools, counties and cities’ day-to-day budgets to improve rundown neighborhoods. Local governments like redevelopment because they receive more money for neighborhood improvements than they would otherwise. Brown dislikes redevelopment because the state budget must make up the school funding lost to the program.

Brown still is counting on using an estimated $1.7 billion from eliminating redevelopment to close a now-projected $9.6 billion budget gap. His original proposal prompted cities to do all sorts of things to try to leave no money for the state if redevelopment went away.

Redevelopment proponents, who have mounted a PR blitz since the governor first made his proposal, wasted little time blasting the revised budget.

“The governor has repeatedly claimed he wants to end the gimmicks and wants honest budgeting,” Chris McKenzie, executive director of the League of California Cities, said in a statement. “But his proposal to eliminate redevelopment will result in more of the same. It is illegal, will not provide the state any budgetary relief and, by destroying local economic growth, will actually reduce state and local revenues.”

Meantime, the city is continuing to examine redevelopment reform on its own. This morning, a City Council committee discussed a proposal from Councilwoman Marti Emerald to merge San Diego’s redevelopment bureaucracy into the nonprofit that now serves downtown. A report from the City Attorney’s Office said her idea had procedural obstacles, but they could be addressed.

Please contact Liam Dillon directly at liam.dillon@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5663 and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/dillonliam.

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Liam Dillon

Liam Dillon

Liam Dillon is senior reporter and assistant editor for Voice of San Diego. He leads VOSD’s investigations and writes about how regular people interact with local government. What should he write about next? Please contact him directly at liam.dillon@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5663.

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6 comments
Robert Castaneda
Robert Castaneda subscriber

During the initial period that this issue was being debated, there was far too much political vitriol to the extent of some pro-redevelopment stakeholders citing the Governor guilty of “brazen theft” given his position on eliminating redevelopment agencies in order to address budget shortfalls. These comments smack of brick and mortar entitlement and are neither needed nor helpful. The public discourse on public policy decisions should always remain civil - not political. THE CAMPAIGN IS OVER. I fear this vitriol truly damages a necessary working agenda with reinvigorating our communities that truly need this assistance.

Castaneda
Castaneda

During the initial period that this issue was being debated, there was far too much political vitriol to the extent of some pro-redevelopment stakeholders citing the Governor guilty of “brazen theft” given his position on eliminating redevelopment agencies in order to address budget shortfalls. These comments smack of brick and mortar entitlement and are neither needed nor helpful. The public discourse on public policy decisions should always remain civil - not political. THE CAMPAIGN IS OVER. I fear this vitriol truly damages a necessary working agenda with reinvigorating our communities that truly need this assistance.

David Cohen
David Cohen subscriber

Because (re)development can take place wherever it makes financial sense for private developers to pursue it, extra-governmental agencies like CCDC and SEDC are not needed. In many cases, public monies are not needed. In too many cases, projects that are not desired by the neighborhood proceed because those agencies (and their developer patrons) have agendas different from those of the neighborhoods. Apart from the ability to use use of tax monies for better purposes, we have an opportunity to dismantle unnecessary, costly, and too-often out of control bureaucracies.

fryefan
fryefan

Because (re)development can take place wherever it makes financial sense for private developers to pursue it, extra-governmental agencies like CCDC and SEDC are not needed. In many cases, public monies are not needed. In too many cases, projects that are not desired by the neighborhood proceed because those agencies (and their developer patrons) have agendas different from those of the neighborhoods. Apart from the ability to use use of tax monies for better purposes, we have an opportunity to dismantle unnecessary, costly, and too-often out of control bureaucracies.

Fred Logan
Fred Logan subscriber

Contact your State Representatvies. This is a chance to take the tax dollars from back room pay off deals. We may be able to let people who actually live in a neighborhood decide its prresent and future.

FredL29
FredL29

Contact your State Representatvies. This is a chance to take the tax dollars from back room pay off deals. We may be able to let people who actually live in a neighborhood decide its prresent and future.