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State Eyes Redevelopment Money

According to a report in the Sacramento Bee by Dan Walters, there is legislation afoot in Sacramento that would take property tax money away from local redevelopment agencies to pay back bonds the state issues to balance this year’s budget.

It sounds good, tapping the redevelopment honey pots that exist in redevelopment cities all across California, including Alameda, to balance the budget and make sure the schools are fully funded. But there’s a catch, of course. The legislation would make it easier for cities to extend the lives of redevelopment projects. Much easier. As Dan Walters writes “…the state would allow cities to extend the lives of their redevelopment projects…without having to meet the stringent requirements for redevelopment project extension in current law…”

This is dangerous, because redevelopment agencies divert money away from the General Fund, which is used to pay for basic city services such as fire and police protection. As the redevelopment project matures, more and more property tax dollars are diverted from the general fund. Increasing the lives of redevelopment projects extends this diversion.

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