By Dan Walters
Published: Friday, Sep. 7, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A
Redevelopment is dead – or so proclaimed Gov. Jerry Brown and legislators last year when they canceled the legal authorization for the six- decade-old urban renewal program and seized its assets to close the state’s budget deficit.
Ever since, state and local officials have been dismantling hundreds of local redevelopment agencies and squabbling over payment of their debts and disposition of their assets.
Redevelopment is dead. Long live redevelopment.
The just-concluded 2012 legislative session enacted a batch of bills re-creating it, or something very like it, albeit with new names, several of which are revised versions of “infrastructure financing districts.”
Actually, the power for local governments to create IFDs, as they are known, has been on the books for years. The districts could issue bonds to finance improvements and divert some of the “incremental” property tax income from project areas to repay the bonds.
They were infrequently created because they required the approval of two-thirds of local voters, as well as permission other local governments from which property taxes were diverted. It was much easier to use redevelopment powers, which did not require the IFDs’ voter and governmental approvals.
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