State capitol writers are reporting that the state Legislature will forward two redevelopment bills to Brown as part of a budget that will be approved as soon as Tuesday. The bills were left in limbo two weeks ago when Brown vetoed Democratic legislators’ original budget, saying their plan didn’t fix the state’s problems.
The bills don’t so much kill redevelopment as attempt to starve it to death. The first bill eliminates the program and the second bill allows agencies to reconstitute themselves if they dedicate some of their property tax revenue to schools.
San Diego’s redevelopment agencies would lose almost $70 million over the next two years, including $49 million from downtown, if they bought back into the program, according to the city’s Southeastern Economic Development Corp.
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Redevelopment is supposed to divert property tax revenue from schools and other local governments to improve rundown neighborhoods. It’s been fundamental to how San Diego pays for projects big and small, and has also been the source of local scandal. The state is required to pay off the money schools lose to redevelopment, making it a prime target for legislators. The budget counts on $1.7 billion from the redevelopment elimination.
After the announcement of the budget deal, redevelopment backers vowed once again to sue the state.
“If the Governor signs this legislation, we will file litigation at the earliest opportunity to defend the constitution and the will of the voters,” said Chris McKenzie, executive director of the League of California Cities said in a statement late Monday.