After unceremoniously dispatching the state’s redevelopment agencies amidst California’s recent fiscal crisis, Governor Jerry Brown has formulated a new scheme for cities to achieve their redevelopment goals, but there's a catch.
With the state of California in the black, and most of the work of wrapping up the operations of redevelopment agencies around the state complete, Governor Brown’s draft 2015 state budget includes a proposal for cities to gain a new mechanism for spending tax increment financing: “changes to the Infrastructure Financing District law that would expand the allowable uses for IFDs and lower the voter threshold required to create them,” writes Bill Fulton. The draft budget comes after Gov. Brown has rebuked previous attempts by legislators to reboot tax increment financing.
Brought into existence in the early 1990s, Infrastructure Financing Districts (IFDs) have seen scant implementation because of the super majority vote required to enact them. IFDs would be available for a variety of redevelopment investments: “Brown’s proposal would expand the use of IFDs beyond infrastructure to include military base reuse, urban infill, transit priority projects, affordable housing, and ‘associated necessary consumer services.’”
The catch? California “would permit the expanded use of IFDs only for cities and counties that have settled out all redevelopment cash payments to other agencies and settled all redevelopment lawsuits against the state,” which, Fulton writes, ”may be an attempt to accelerate the redevelopment wind-down."
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