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California Supreme Court Says State Can Ax Redevelopment Agencies

In a ruling released today, the California Supreme Court has ruled that the State of California can legally abolish local redevelopment agencies. Earlier this year, the State introduced legislation to do just that, to preserve funding for the K-12 schools, and the California Redevelopment Association sued.

In the ruling, the State’s highest court wrote, “We consider whether under the state Constitution (1) redevelopment agencies, once created and engaged in redevelopment plans, have a protected right to exist that immunizes them from statutory dissolution by the Legislature; and (2) redevelopment agencies and their sponsoring communities have a protected right not to make payments to various funds benefiting schools and special districts as a condition of continued operation. Answering the first question “no” and the second “yes” we largely uphold Assembly Bill 1X 26 and invalidate Assembly Bill 1X 27.”

Assembly Bill 1X 26 dissolved redevelopment agencies while Assembly Bill 1X 27 allowed them to survive if they increased payments to California schools.

The court was unanimous in upholding Bill 1X 26, and only Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye dissented from the majority with regards to Assembly bill 1X 27.

The ruling paves the way for the State to force the closure of more than 400 redevelopment agencies across California; the ruling also extended those deadlines by four months.

Alameda’s local redevelopment agency presented its annual report to City Council earlier this month. The agency took in $14.71 million in property taxes.

The Alameda Unified School District has repeatedly passed parcel taxes in recent years, the most recent this past March, which will run for 7 years, citing Sacramento’s inability to provide sufficient funding.

Across Alameda County 13 cents of every property tax dollar is diverted to redevelopment agencies.

2 comments to California Supreme Court Says State Can Ax Redevelopment Agencies

  • Liz Williams

    400 slush funds that city politicians have used to bankrupt cities and reward their favorites is about to disappear! This is excellent news.

    I guess this means an end to projects like the ivy that some local contractor planted that no one waters or maintains (boondoggle #3) on the chain link fence that another local contractor (boondoggle #2) put around a big hole in the ground with a useless piece of machinery sticking out of it that no one has ever even visited, much less used (boondoggle #1).

    Hey AAN – how about a page where we could send in photos of the redevelopment-sponsored boondoggles in out neighborhoods? The extra space you’d have to buy on your server would be worth it.