Redevelopment survives the weekend

Late Thursday I tweeted that after a number of budget-related bills were passed, the Assembly didn’t get around to dealing with SB 77. Stuck at a 53-23 vote with only one Republican holdout needed, the bill would have to wait until Monday.

Redevelopment got a three day reprieve because the California Republican Party was holding its annual convention in Sacramento, just blocks from the Capitol building. Though I choose not to pay much attention to party politics, it was clear from the various updates coming out of the CRP bash that the whole affair seemed a bit too Lord of the Flies to get anything substantive out of it. Republicans aren’t just worried about unity, they’re wondering if they’re relevant in the state.

The fate of redevelopment may be a hot-button issue, but it pales in comparison to Governor Brown’s interest in extending tax hikes. Brown’s budget proposal is predicated on half cuts, half taxes, which on the surface looks fair. It’s the details of it that have gotten people upset, which is not surprising. The Republicans, who have rallied hard for more cuts and an end to that tax extension, simply don’t have the numbers to do anything other than be a spoiler in Brown’s plans. That’s where redevelopment comes in. Should SB 77 not pass, it would throw a monkey wrench into the budget proposal, inevitably delaying the final budget while the Democrats look for other places to bridge the gap.

Redevelopment as a tool is broadly supported and reviled by people in both parties, so it’s not as though there were some ideological divide there. The delay in getting the budget framework passed (it was supposed to happen 10 days ago) has allowed cities to come up with an alternative proposal that may make its way through the legislature in short order. The proposal, which has not yet been introduced in bill form, allows for redevelopment agencies throughout the stake to remain intact while pledging more tax increment as passthroughs to local schools. The League of California Cities has the outline:

  • Local redevelopment agencies can voluntarily suspend their housing set-aside for FY 2011-12. An equivalent amount of funds must then be contributed to local school districts in project areas.

    • In exchange for this contribution of funds for FY 2011-12 to local schools, the agency will be allowed to extend the project area’s life by TWO YEARS.
  • In addition, or alternatively, redevelopment agencies could voluntarily contribute up to 10 percent of their non-housing tax increment revenue stream to local school districts each year for 10 years, beginning in FY 2011-12.

    • The tax increment revenue stream they could contribute would be calculated as a percentage of the gross tax increment minus the existing pass-through payments to local taxing entities.
    • For each percentage of tax increment paid to schools, an additional year could be added to the project area life, up to a maximum of 10 years. For example, if five percent of tax increment was dedicated to schools, the project area life could be extended for five years.

    The gist of this is that cities would be trading affordable housing funds for school funds. This is driven by several people in some of the largest cities in the state who believe that, at least in their jurisdictions, there is enough affordable housing already and that more would only harm local and state governments more from a revenue-and-cost standpoint. What I don’t get is the use of the word “voluntarily.” How exactly would the budget shortfall be bridged by some shaky pledges from the cities? The League positions this proposal as the “lawsuit free” solution, as it would hold up Prop 22 and keep cities from having bondholders pull the trigger on lawsuits against the state.

    It’s unclear who would write and sponsor this redevelopment bill, since Brown has been using his muscle to get the Democrats in line and moving forward. It all may be moot anyway, since SB 77 will get called for a vote again sometime in the near future. We’ll find out soon enough.

    29 thoughts on “Redevelopment survives the weekend

    1. RM,
      Would the trading aff. housing for schools scenario effect the bonding capacity of RDA: less money for projects?
      As you alluded to, probably a moot point anyway.

      • @tony d. – It would affect RDAs in that manner. San Jose in particular would be affected because their ability to borrow right now is already hampered due to low tax increment revenues. The actual funding mechanisms would remain status quo.

    2. @DavidL – I saw that one an hour ago. If there were something new there I would’ve posted something about it. The supposed legal threat from Oakland is also well overblown.

    3. I see what you mean, ML, about the legal threat. Yeah, nothing really new in it, yet thought to share it…that’s all.

    4. Here is the thing about bleacher report stuff… There is a picture in the article of the long defunct Uptown site labeled as a rendering of the Victory Court proposal. At several points the article makes mention of specifics about the Victory Court proposal like “breath taking views of the Estuary, hills and cranes” and such.
      None of that is true. There is no publicly available proposal. There is nothing but an in process Draft EIR and there has been no mention of funding the stadium construction (glossed over by siting Filed of Schemes). There is mention that RDA going away means the A’s ownership is more likely to stay in Oakland. There is direct evidence to the contrary in recent interviews with Wolff.
      The guy basically rewrote a baseballoakland article.

    5. I wonder why the article didn’t mention Schott/Hoffman’s proposal of a “baseball-only” Coliseum being shot down by the city of Oakland in favor of Mt. Davis.
      Or Jerry Brown favoring condos over ballpark at Uptown. Public funds for ballpark anyone?
      Aside from the rehash and omitting of what is already known, it appears the writer is also suffering from “Navigator Syndrome”; it’s that “ALL A’s fans” crap again!

    6. How come the baseball site is not listed on the links? It is updated frequently and has some decent insight. Its good to see two sides to the story.

    7. If you think its partisan thats fine, but Baseball San Jose’s blog is just as partisan and that one is on the links page as well.

    8. D Jr, seriously… which was the insightful piece? The one about how the football bleachers didn’t cause any harm to baseball field or the one about how 3 games in 2004 show how awesomely packed the Oakland Coliseum has been for 40 years?
      I read baseballoakland a lot. It usually leaves me shaking my head at how ridiculously narrow and uninsightful the commentary is.
      Whoops… we are taking this train off the tracks… This is meant to be about RDA. So back on target… Why in the world is Santa Clara giving the 49ers $40M? Really?

    9. But why isn’t the BaseballOakland site listed? LGO and BBO are two different things.

    10. BBO has gotten better with adding content as of late … i think they deserve a link.

      Jerry Brown is getting on my nerves!!

    11. @ Dinosaur Jr.: Srrsly? It this really just about the links or is something something else? I don’t see this site listed in the baseballoakland links section. A handful of commenters here are wildly pro SJ and another handful is pro Oakland– that’s because ML has allowed for an open forum. The articles/posts/analysis provided by ML and jeffrey is refreshingly non-bias. This article, “Redevelopment Survives the Weekend” is an issue that effects both the Oakland and San Jose projects. The irony is that this site might be the best informational resource for the Victory Court project.

      • @Dinosaur Jr. – They launched at roughly the same time and have organizational ties. Just because BaseballOakland isn’t named “Let’s Go Oakland blog” doesn’t mean it’s independent. It’s just one degree of separation.

        It’s strange that Oakland partisans are so frequently fixated on this link business. If you want me to link to your blog, you need to show that you’re capable of some degree of real coverage and balance. I’m not going to put links to every two-bit shill that comes along. No one has assailed me for not putting the BSJ blog up there. Frankly, it sucks and isn’t worth the space.

    12. fair enough ML. If there are ties between the the two, then that makes sense. The only difference I see is… LGO is just (3) pages of who we are. While BBO (more so recently), has articles and user content.

    13. I Understand. However I would put BBO over LGO. If the two are linked than put up the one that is actually updated. LGO’s page is the same as it was in 2009. BBO has an active blog. And I don’t think its two-bit shill.

    14. And I’m not an Oakland Partisan either. BBO needs to link your site as well. I just noticed that BBO has been referenced a few times in the comments but not linked.

    15. Jeffro I read that piece too. Its is their own opinion based on facts and experiences. Nothing wrong with that. Based on your facts and experiences you don’t think baseball will draw very well in Oakland. Nothing wrong with that either. Its two opinions based on the same information.
      The football piece was silly. But you can’t hold a whole blog accountable for one post. There are some posts on here which I think are silly as well. But overall its a good blog. No one can be right 100% of the time.

    16. I agree with Tony that the A’s renovating the Coliseum getting nixed because of Mt. Davis being put up and the ensuing lawsuit where the A’s owners got 16M and major lease concessions…..No mention of that at all in that article.

      As for RDAs…..Oakland needs that money for the VC site or they are done. Without a completed EIR they cannot move money around for this in anyway. They started far too late in the process.

      San Jose on the other hand has an EIR ready and is moving the money to get the land. In reality RDAs do not affect the ballpark in San Jose because Lew Wolff has stated he will buy the rest of the land himself if need be….The City can always give him “kickbacks” on other property down the line a la ATT getting some land re-zoned near Santana Row as an example.

      In the end after Jerry Brown kills RDAs only San Jose will be in the ballgame still while Oakland will be forced to bow out…Not because Oakland wants but because they have no choice.

      If BS tries to contract the A’s after the CBA is up at the end of this year San Jose will sue MLB. Therefore we are coming to the end soon….Thank god.

    17. @Dinosaur Jr. – If BaseballOakland actually spent even one article talking honestly about the challenges that face the Victory Court proposal I’d consider linking them on the sidebar. Until then, I’ll only link for the occasional worthwhile article. They’ll have their opportunity when the Draft EIR is released.

    18. D Jr. False equivalency is a real pain. My “opinion” is formed by looking at 42 years of data. That piece about 3 games in 2004 is the antithesis of a well reasoned data driven analysis. That piece is taking an isolated event and trying to mislead people by pretending it is reality. Forgive me if I don’t see the parallel.
      And, I linked two articles above that are complete garbage. I could have linked about three quarters of anything I have ever read there. I don’t let one article speak for the whole blog. It just so happens that you agree with the slant Linusalf presents in his blog posts and therefore you think it is awesome. Enjoy it, no one is saying you can’t.

    19. @ML&Jeffro–i really enjoy BBO’s site, aka Linusalf, and am kind of baffled that you don’t link it up on here. You’ve referenced recently the A’s former Spanish announcer and Jean Quan interviews from there, which were both excellent. Comon, how about a permanent link for Linusalf?

    20. Why are some of you demanding some link from RM and Jeffrey? Sounds like you know where the damn BBO site is…JUST GO THERE ALREADY!

    21. @TonyD–I WILL! I’ve checked out all the links on here, but some people may not know about BBO’s site.

      FWIW, along with a great article, there’s 2 good polls on BleacherReport on the A’s situation. I suggest you vote early and often, Tony, to get the numbers tilted your way. Good luck.
      Did Wolff ever give Oakland serious consideration: 78% NO, 22% YES.
      Where should the A’s build their new stadium? JLS–69%, DT SJ–22%, Outside of Bay Area–1.5%

    22. You mean to tell me 22% of Bleacher Report posters are actual realists? WOW! (Sorry RM, couldn’t help it; no more posts from me on this thread unless it has to do with RDA ;o)

    23. We’re gonna hold to you that, Tony!! And I’ll do the same. I just had to put these polls somewhere. I wish we had an open thread where anything goes. I try to stay on topic but it’s tough sometimes.

    24. so the actual RDA talk moved to the new thread. Just FYI. Sorry for taking this of course with the talk fo BBO.

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