What a surprise Christmas gift from our Supreme Court, especially when they voted unanimously (7-0) to uphold AB X 1- 26 which disbands our state’s redevelopment agencies and 6-1 to throw out AB X 1-27 which violates Prop 22 (Article XIII, section 25.5 subdivision (a)(7)(A). Chief Justice Tani Cantil Sakauye partial dissent represented the sole Justice voting to retain that companion Bill.
Having actively devoted over 15 years in the fight to shut down our state’s redevelopment agencies I was extremely pleased with today’s nearly unanimous slam dunks rulings by the court.
While those of us who have fought these agencies across the country celebrates today, the CA League of Cities and the RDA are not giving up their highly compensated efforts to continue providing corporate welfare for special interest projects such as future NFL stadiums in SD and LA to auto dealerships and big box stores as these agencies divert billions of tax dollars every year from public education and public safety.
Earlier today I received a Press Release from Tony Cardenas on behalf of the California Redevelopment Association and League of California Cities in which he “Urge(s) Immediate Legislative Action to Revive Redevelopment.” Agencies.
As it turns out the Legislators who support redevelopment agencies screwed up and outsmarted themselves. i.e. “Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Assembly Speaker John Perez, along with many other lawmakers, made it clear that the legislative vote was intended only to extract revenues from redevelopment agencies, not to abolish them altogether.”
Didn’t they bother to read and comprehend the implications of what they were signing?
The redevelopment agencies must shut down by Feb 1, 2012 at which point “successor agencies” will be responsible for paying off the RDAs current bonded indebtedness with future tax increment funds. They cannot commence any new RDA projects.
Let’s face it. Redevelopment agencies in our state have been one huge money pit.
While I anticipate new legislation to resurrect this tool under a new name the Legislature will need to overcome the governor’s veto as he desperately needs this money to meet part of his budget shortfall.
I anticipate some heavy lobbying by those representing these 400 plus agencies immediately after New Year.
Think about it. This ruling has taken top billing over the non-stop coverage of the GOP Caucus in Iowa.
It has taken us decades to educate and inform the public on these abusive agencies.
Wishing everyone a safe, healthy and prosperous New Year.