L.A. redevelopment agency hastily OKs spending plan
Days after Gov. Jerry Brown proposed abolishing municipal redevelopment agencies as part of his budget plan, Los Angeles’ redevelopment agency board hastily voted Friday to commit $930 million of agency money to the city to carry out redevelopment projects for years to come -- presumably moving the money out of the state’s reach.
The move, which would have to be approved by the Los Angeles City Council, would tie up the money the agency expects to take in via property taxes through 2016 and keep the funds from reverting to counties and school district as called for in the governor’s plan.
Brown proposed using $1.7 billion in the next fiscal year to balance the budget, and sending all the money in future years to schools, counties and other entities.
The governor’s office responded to the vote, saying Brown hoped the Community Redevelopment Agency was not planning on "squirreling money away for the indefinite future when our schools, police and firefighters are in need of this funding."
A spokesman for state Treasurer Bill Lockyer added: "The governor’s proposal warrants a serious, thoughtful discussion. Let's have that adult conversation, not needlessly provocative acts of gamesmanship."
There are about 400 municipal redevelopment agencies in California, most of them run by cities, which collectively take in about $5 billion a year in property taxes. They are authorized to use money the money to reduce blight.
-- Jessica Garrison