Don Bauder 2:30 p.m., Aug. 1
The Raid on Redevelopment Funds
Mayor Jerry Sanders is asking city councilmembers to go along with the state's $70 million takeaway of redevelopment funds in order for local redevelopment to continue.
"Instead of reforming itself and making tough decisions like we’ve done here in San Diego, the state did what it often does, steal money from others to balance its budget," wrote Sanders in a July 11 statement.
The takeaway was part of a recent ultimatum given by the state where redevelopment agencies were told to give up cash in order to stay in business. The state is using the redevelopment funds to balance the budget.
"This means the tax increment money available for redevelopment projects in San Diego would be slashed by about 40 percent," stated Sanders. "Redevelopment has been an unqualified success here in San Diego. Just in the downtown area, it has created 85,000 jobs and attracted $12 billion in private investment, laying the foundation for a variety of landmark projects such as Horton Plaza, Petco Park, as well as the renaissance of the Gaslamp Quarter."
Sanders said that as a result of the raid on redevelopment funds many projects will be put on hold.
But now, because of the state’s shortsightedness and lack of fiscal discipline, these types of projects are threatened, and thousands of jobs that are desperately needed in our region may never materialize.
Sanders expects the California League of Cities will be filing a lawsuit within weeks.
"This will still be painful, but at least it will enable the City to resume generating and collecting tax increment to invest in redevelopment. While there is no good alternative, I believe continuing redevelopment in some fashion is better than pulling the plug on it altogether."
The city council will decide at their July 18 meeting.