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Alameda’s Redevelopment Agency Took in Over $18 million in Revenue Last Year

The State Controller’s report on redevelopment agencies in California was late this year, being published as recently as September 30th. The report covers the 400+ redevelopment agencies in California, and reveals that for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2008, Alameda’s agency had over $18 million in revenue.

That figure is up 19% from the previous fiscal year’s amount of $15,683,598 in revenues. Of $18,530,537 in 2007-2008 revenues for the agency – the Community Improvement Commission of the City of Alameda – $14,037,684 was property tax revenue, called “tax increment” in redevelopment jargon. $1,510,739 of it was interest income, and $2,982,114 was “other” income. However, the agency still ran a deficit of over $4 million.

Alameda CIC Table 4 2007 2008 Redevelopment

None of that money, however, can be used to keep our fire stations open, pay police or firefighters, fix potholes or streetlights, or improve our parks. By state law, the money is reserved for “redevelopment” projects, which amount, basically, to developer subsidies. For example, to fund the promised Sports Complex at Alameda Point, SunCal is relying on issuing bonds which will be paid back over decades from tax increment money through the redevelopment agency. The agency’s total debt is $272,496,568 – SunCal’s $200 million subsidy would almost double that.

Alameda CIC Table 7 2007 2008 Redevelopment

The report shows that Alameda properties totaling over $1.5 billion in assessed land value are within redevelopment project areas, meaning that their tax increment – any property tax increases over the year that the redevelopment project area was initiated – go to the redevelopment agency, and not the City’s general fund to pay for police, fire, parks services, etc. Click here for a map of redevelopment project areas in Alameda.

Day-to-day management of this growing treasure chest of property tax funds rests with City of Alameda Development Services Manager Leslie Little, who is also on the board of directors for the California Redevelopment Association, a Sacramento lobby group.

Doug Kaplan wrote a good article on redevelopment in the SF Chronicle on Sunday, October 18th, 2009 entitled “Build schools, not shopping malls.” Read it here.

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