Lawmakers attempt to revive redevelopment
August 31, 2012
These bills have made it to the final sprint of the state legislative session, which ends today at midnight, and are now on the governor’s desk. [CaliforniaWatch]
In December, the Supreme Court upheld legislation that ended redevelopment agency programs. Instead, funds that had been earmarked for local redevelopment agencies are being used to help balance the state’s budget.
The four bills would allow cities and counties to divert property tax revenues from local agencies if an area is designated for redevelopment. However, unlike the previous redevelopment agency program, none of the property tax diversions could come from taxes that fund schools.
SB 1156, by Senate Pro Tem Darrel Steinberg, D-Sacramento, would create new entities called Sustainable Communities Investment Authorities that would allow counties and other agencies to withhold their property tax contributions if they don’t support the development project.
The three other bills modify infrastructure financing districts, which, like the former redevelopment agencies, use property tax revenue increases to fund projects. The bills would reduce the voter approval requirements for establishing a project area and issuing new bonds. Existing law requires cities and counties to get two-thirds of voters to approve a new project area before they can divert property taxes to fund it and take on debt, California Watch said.
SB 214, by state Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, would remove the voter approval requirement currently needed to create an infrastructure financing district and to issue bonds.
AB 2551, by Assemblyman Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, would remove voter approval requirements for certain renewable energy projects.
AB 2144, by Assembly Speaker John Pérez, D-Los Angeles, would not eliminate the voter approval requirement entirely, but would reduce it from two-thirds to 55 percent,California Watch said.