Ian Anderson 6 p.m., March 7
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State Legislature passes bill allowing developers to raid funds for infrastructure for private development
Well looks like redevelopment wasn't dead for long. Two bills just passed by the state legislature reestablish redevelopment agencies under a different name but with same ability to divert existing taxes and to add new tax burdens.
Assembly Bill 2144 (introduced by Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles) and Senate Bill 1156 (introduced by Senate Pro Tem Darrel Steinberg (D-Sacramento); passed just as legislators were leaving for break. One reestablishes redevelopment powers with NO blight requirements!!! -- a developers dream and our worst nightmare!!! Using the great buzzwords Sustainable Communities Investment Authorities the government can use eminent domain to take private property and hand it over to private developers. "But it's sustainable, so its Ok" you say? "Sustainable" according to who? an unelected committee that can easily be paid off. Also "sustainable" has come to mean high-density and vinyl windows and that's about it. Forget all the buildings they are throwing into landfills under the umbrella of "infill" (which are already 40% full of building demolition debris). And forget all the toxic PVCs in vinyl...it's energy efficient! so it must be green!.
Redevelopment was shut down after 60 years and 60 BILLION dollars because it was simply a tool to divert tax money to finance crony capitalism--by politicians like ours truly Toni Atkins who is married to a redevelopment developer. Any surprise that she is behind this giant giveaway to herself?
The bills allow cities and counties to form joint-powers agencies to incur debt and use eminent domain by creating Infrastructure Finance Districts. Apparently "infrastructure" is now the for-profit buildings themselves! Who knew? How is this even legal!
The two bills also make it easier for new local taxes to be imposed with only a 55 percent voter approval, rather than a two-thirds majority, and to allow debts to remain on the books as long as 40 years, compared with the 30 years, typical under previous redevelopment.
How did we go from massive bankruptcies and major budget cuts to bills that write blank checks to developers?
As if we needed one more reason to vote NO on tax hikes!
More on Redevelopment bills just passed!!
"Four legislative measures that would impact California’s cities and counties ability to direct property tax funds to local development projects were recently sent to Governor Jerry Brown for approval. This move comes after the Governor last July approved AB 26x which dissolved the activities of California’s redevelopment agencies (RDA), effective February 1, 2012. The four bills, SB 1156 introduced by Senate Pro Tem Darrel Steinberg (D-Sacramento); SB 214 introduced by Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis); AB 2551 introduced by Assemblyman Ben Hueso (D-San Diego); and AB 2144 introduced by Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles) would allow cities and counties to funnel property tax revenues from local agencies into areas designated for development. A key difference between these approved bills and the old law is that the bills would prohibit any funding being taken away from schools. A summary of the four bills are as follows:"
SB 1156 establishes “Sustainable Communities Investment Authorities” (SCIA), which are entities similar to the former redevelopment agencies, but would allow counties and other local agencies to withhold funding if the SCIA does not support planned development. This could potentially alleviate the city and county fights which were prevalent under the previous model;
SB 214 would eliminate the voter approval requirement for creation of an infrastructure financing district (IFD) and authorizes cities/counties the ability to create the IFD. SB 214 also expands the types of projects eligible for financing through an IFD
AB 2551 authorizes the establishment of an IFD in renewable energy zone areas and exempts the voter approval requirement for those applicable renewable energy projects
AB 2144 would lower the the voter approval rate for the creation of an IFD to 55% voter approval.