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Alameda City Staff Sets Up for Redevelopment Bonds

At the November 5th Alameda Re-use and Redevelopment Authority (ARRA) meeting, City of Alameda staffer and base re-use manager Debbie Potter made a lengthy introductory speech before SunCal presented to City Council. Hear her set-up City Council for the $700 million in redevelopment bonds that SunCal wants the City to issue to subsidize their build-out at Alameda Point.

First off, it’s a pretty straightforward explanation of redevelopment works – the local redevelopment agency, the Community Improvement Commission (CIC) of the City of Alameda in this case, gets their hands on a bunch of money resulting from improvements made in the redevelopment project area and the subsequent higher property taxes those improvements generate – the “tax increment.” Ms. Potter emphatically states that “there is no tax-increment without a project.”

But what she neglected to explain is that improvements could take place at Alameda Point OUTSIDE of the redevelopment mechanism, and those improved properties would still generate increased property taxes, some of which would go to the City of Alameda. But the CIC wouldn’t be able to grab on to those funds for “redevelopment activities” – like a subsidy to SunCal for their project. There are alternatives to developing Alameda Point as a redevelopment-subsidized master planned community, which is the current track we are on. Save Our City! Alameda has good ideas for alternate plans that don’t depend on taxpayer-funded subsidies for developers.

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