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While downtown San Diego gets the most attention, it’s not the only place that stands to lose millions of dollars under Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to eliminate redevelopment agencies.
His proposal would affect funding for numerous other neighborhoods in San Diego and smaller cities across the county that rely on redevelopment to help improve blighted properties and subsidize affordable housing.
By eliminating the agencies, Brown would dissolve a bureaucratic system that ends up sending more local taxes to cities and less to schools and the county. In 2009, local redevelopment agencies received $442.8 million in property taxes that would have otherwise been divided among cities, schools and other governments.
To help you understand how numerous places utilize redevelopment outside of downtown San Diego, I’ve created the illustration below. It shows how much money redevelopment agencies received through property taxes in 2009, the most recent year compiled by state officials. The size of each circle corresponds to the amount of money the agency received.
To me, the most interesting comparisons are between smaller cities. Although National City’s residents were poorer and could in theory have benefited more from redevelopment than Coronado — the $33,000 median household income in National City was less than half of Coronado’s — National City got less money since its property values haven’t increased as much over time.
The amount of redevelopment in northern cities also stood out. Led by San Marcos and Poway, the seven cities received a combined $162.7 million in property taxes, more than downtown San Diego. Still, the graphic helps illustrate why downtown San Diego continues to be a focal point of the local redevelopment debate. It alone accounts for more than a quarter of the countywide total.
But what do you find most interesting? Please share your thoughts in the comments section of this story or shoot me a quick email.