Jurisdictions Battle Over Former Redevelopment Dollars
Competition over former redevelopment dollars appears to be creating a rift among cities, counties and other districts with a claim on those revenues. Two battles in the South Bay could be just the beginning of similar fights around the state.
First a local oversight board cut $30 million the city of Santa Clara committed to construction of the San Francisco 49ers new stadium.
Then the state controller said Santa Clara County officials overreached their authority in withholding more than $86 million dollars in property taxes from San Jose.
Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews says holes in the law dissolving redevelopment agencies created a lot of room for interpretation.
“This is the full employment act for attorneys in the state of California,” says Matthews, “more than it is really going to solve the state’s structural deficit.”
Jim Wiltshire of CSAC, the California Association of Counties, points out that 24 of the 58 counties also have Redevelopment Agencies fighting through this process.
"It's all new to us," he says. Wiltshire says the difference starts with the fact that counties are political subdivisions of the state.
"Counties are like the DMV for the state. We do all the health and social service programs, and a variety of other services," he says. "So at the outset, we have a different relationship to the state than the special districts and cities."
Governor Jerry Brown is expected to sign legislation as early as Wednesday that would clean up some of the confusing language in the redevelopment law.
"I believe this is a huge step forward," says Wiltshire. "This is a new world. And I believe we'll have the ability to sort this out."