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Yesterday, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders wouldn’t talk about a compromise proposal he and other big city mayors are developing to counter Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to immediately eliminate redevelopment agencies.
Fortunately, the state assembly is talking. An agenda from an assembly committee hearing has some details.
In normal-person-speak, the agenda says that the proposal addresses Brown’s core motivation, the state’s budget problem, by allowing the state to borrow $1.7 billion from redevelopment agencies. Also, it would give additional property taxes to schools and counties starting in 2018 (redevelopment siphons funds away from those entities and others in order to subsidize development and public works in specific areas).
In exchange, the state would allow redevelopment agencies to last for 10 years longer than they would otherwise.
A time extension is a big deal, and could exacerbate the state’s budget problems down the road. San Diego officials last fall led a controversial, late-night move last fall that extended downtown redevelopment’s lifespan by 20 years. The extension allowed the downtown agency to collect a big share of an estimated $6 billion in future property taxes — all more than it would have otherwise. Redevelopment time extensions across California would divert more money in the future away from cities, counties, schools and, indirectly, the state.
No one has released the proposal formally yet, but Brown’s office doesn’t sound enthused. The governor’s spokesman derided it as “some kind of Wall Street scheme” in a Sacramento Bee story over the weekend.
Check out the assembly committee agenda for a handy table comparing the governor’s proposal to the cities’ counter.
Also follow John Myers, the Sacramento bureau chief of KQED public radio, for details on today’s hearing.