New 'Infrastructure Financing District' Proposed for Los Angeles River Improvements

Los Angeles officials are hoping to create an "Infrastructure Financing District" (i.e., tax increment financing) to help finance ambitious goals for revitalizing and restoring the Los Angeles River.

1 minute read

January 22, 2015, 12:00 PM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

According to Christine Saillant, Los Angeles elected officials took initial steps recently to create the state's first "Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District." The tax increment financing mechanism will supplement the $1 billion pledged by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers toward restoring the Los Angeles River.

The Infrastructure Financing District concept is a new one, only put into effect on January 1, 2015. Saillant describes why and how the law was put into place by the state: "As of Jan. 1, local officials have the authority to direct a greater share of future property taxes to revitalization efforts, public works projects and environmental cleanup. The law is intended to replace some of the billions of dollars cities lost when Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature shut down more than 400 redevelopment agencies during the recession-driven budget crisis."

Moreover: "In addition to public works projects, the infrastructure districts can be used to remake former military bases, rehabilitate private industrial buildings and leverage transit-oriented development….Unlike those of the now-defunct redevelopment agencies, qualifying projects and districts don't have to be in blighted areas..."

Saillant's coverage goes into a lot of detail about the politics behind the new tax increment financing abilities of local governments in the state of California.

Monday, January 19, 2015 in Los Angeles Times

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