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An open letter to the City Auditor.

Please investigate and audit Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC) and the county of San Diego for failing to allocate CCDC tax sharing payments since 1992 for programs and facilities for the poor, mentally ill, children, and homeless totaling $49 million. When CCDC expanded to the full downtown San Diego area in 1992, CCDC promised to resolve our downtown homeless problem.

Great news: after 18 months, with the help of Councilman Carl DeMaio, we finally asked the right questions and have answers on the CCDC tax sharing payments and revenues to the county of San Diego from 1992 to the present.

Page 1 of the attached document from the county of San Diego’s office of Auditor and Controller, Tracy Sandoval states that “the current balance available in the County’s Centre City Redevelopment Agreement Trust Fund (66177) is $25,907,570.75. This includes a restricted balance of $20,708,584.89 available for the six County facilities, programs and services identified in the 1992 Agreement between the Agency and the County of San Diego.”

The six facilities and programs allowed by the 1992 agreement include:

• counseling, educational and training for, amongst others, misdemeanants and light felons,

• mental health,

• alcohol and drug rehabilitation,

• children’s service,

• health and welfare, and

• court rooms and justice.

The nonprofit community with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) mandated Regional Continuum of Care need to take ownership of the $25.9 million sitting in the county of San Diego Centre City Redevelopment Agreement Trust Fund (66177) bank account to resolve our homeless and social problems and help San Diegans. This advocacy work can be done by contacting the San Diego City Council and county Board of Supervisors to make the coordinated solution possible.

Also as shown on pages 8 and 9, next year the fourth and final trigger to the 1992 agreement increases the tax sharing pass-through payments from 7 percent of CCDC’s tax increment to 14.7 percent, a yearly increase to approximately $17 million a year for the life of the redevelopment agency, for the above-mentioned six facilities and programs. This new information provides both short-term and long-term financing for the poor, mentally ill, children and homeless.

Page 3 itemizes the use of the fund, of $15,600 for courts/justice and $9,786,800 for the county’s general fund. Page 5 of the attached documents shows $49,786,707.12 in CCDC tax sharing payments received by the county of San Diego. Please note that these financial numbers do not add correctly, and interest was not earned for money sitting in the fund since 1992.

Also, we believe the state of California took over the Department of Justice and state court house development expenses from the county of San Diego in the mid-1990s. Therefore, the funds allocated to court facilities built by the state should be analyzed and researched to make sure that the money actually went to the state for the court facilities and are not just sitting in another county account. 

Please research and analyze this new information, and make both CCDC and the county of San Diego follow through with the 1992 agreement to fund solutions to our dire homelessness problem. The audit should find a general lack of oversight and follow-through by the CCDC administration and the county. This issue still needs follow through because the numbers don’t seem to add up.

If you have any questions on this very good news, please email me at rhodes@laplayaheritage.com.

Katheryn Rhodes lives in the historic La Playa neighborhood of Point Loma, and is a Registered Civil Engineer.

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