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California Redevelopment Organization Sues State to Keep Money From Schools

In a press release issued yesterday, the California Redevelopment Association (CRA) announced that they have filed a lawsuit against the State of California to stop the State from re-directing $2.05 billion of state-wide property tax money to school districts.

State bill ABX4-26 was passed in July of this year as part of the 2009-2010 state budget. Following the Redevelopment Association’s ultimately successful previous lawsuit against the State for diverting 2008-2009 tax revenues to schools, the State of California took great pains to craft ABX4-26 to ensure that the money was used for schools within redevelopment project areas, thereby in keeping with State redevelopment law and the constitution.

Ironically, in their attempt to take money back from state K-12 schools, the CRA has cited 1970s case law, specifically U.S. Supreme Court decision Serrano v. Priest, which was an attempt to do good for state schools by equalizing school funding across districts.

This time, the CRA got the Union City Redevelopment Agency and the Fountain Valley Agency for Community Development in Orange County to front the lawsuit for them.

Here in Alameda, City Staffer Leslie Little, of the Development Services Department oversees day-to-day operation of Alameda redevelopment agency, the Community Improvement Commission. Ms. Little is on the board of directors of the California Redevelopment Association.

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