When we last left the saga of California’s redevelopment agencies two months ago, Gov. Jerry Brown had fallen one vote short in the state Assembly to eliminate them. With the release of his revised budget proposal Monday, Brown is trying again:
Because redevelopment of specific areas is a local economic responsibility, rather than the state’s, the May revision maintains the Governor’s Budget proposal to eliminate redevelopment agencies. Redevelopment costs the state more than $2 billion annually in lost school property taxes, and its effectiveness on a statewide basis is questionable. By eliminating the agencies, more funds can be returned to cities, counties, special districts, and schools to invest in core services such as hiring police officers, firefighters, and teachers.
Redevelopment is a state program that allows local governments to divert property taxes from schools, counties and cities’ day-to-day budgets to improve rundown neighborhoods. Local governments like redevelopment because they receive more money for neighborhood improvements than they would otherwise. Brown dislikes redevelopment because the state budget must make up the school funding lost to the program.