Rejoice, Rejoice, the Wicked CRA is Dead!

by George Abrahams

For years the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA/LA) has been imposing ugly, soulless monstrosities upon our community using a command and control central planning model. They use their power over the objections of the residents.

The court upheld the enactment of Assembly Bill 1X 26, dissolving redevelopment agencies and redirecting their property tax revenues.

Assembly Bill 1X 27 was unconstitutional because it conditioned the ability of redevelopment agencies to conduct new business on agreeing to an annual payment plan based on a portion of property tax revenues allocated to redevelopment agencies.

Angelenos are already on the hook for over $3 BILLION in CRA debt.

The projects over the Subway Stations are huge financial failures:

(1)  Hollywood-Highland lost $454 Million Dollars, that’s almost $ 1/2 Billion.

(2) The W Hotel has most of its condos vacant and hotel rates are in the basement.

(3) Hollywood-Western cannot rent 1/2 of its retail space after 8 years!

Redevelopment Agencies Sitting on $10 to $20 Billion in Reserve Funds
by Bob Blue

As the State and local municipalities continue furloughing employees, closing fire stations “brown outs,” cutting Educational funding, and reducing local services please use your collective influence to prevent any more precious tax dollars being diverted away from critical local services by preventing any legislation that attempts to bring back Redevelopment agencies.

State Controller John Chiang and State Treasurer Bill Lockyer understands the waste and fraud involved in Redevelopment agencies and most importantly the fact that Redevelopment siphons away Property Tax dollars from schools, fire, health, and other local government services and directs these public funds to subsidize wealthy private developers and their private projects that in the long run hurt communities.

BRIEF BACKGROUND:

Here is a link to a good Editorial from the Press Enterprise: http://www.pe.com/opinion/editorials-headlines/20120108-state-redevelopment-ii.ece

As you may know, the California Supreme Court decided to keep a bill that would end Redevelopment in California and throw out another bill that would allow Redevelopment Agencies partially survive. (Throwing out AB1X-27 and upholding AB1X-26). Politically connected developers that benefit financially from this form of Corporate welfare are lobbying the State to save their source of taxpayer handouts.

PROBLEMS WITH REDEVELOPMENT:

Redevelopment takes any increase in property taxes due to valuation increases since the establishment of a Redevelopment regardless of what causes property values to increase. All of that money (the Tax Increment) goes to the Redevelopment agency to fund private projects and their politically connected developers and repay bond indebtedness).

In some areas such as Bunker Hill in Downtown Los Angeles, kept all of the property tax increases since 1959 (over 50 years!). Just imagine how much the property values and taxes increased in 50 years and all of those funds were diverted away from local services for the people of Los Angeles.

And all of the taxpayers in the State have to make up the budget shortfalls.

Allowing Redevelopment agencies to survive, will just make matters worse for all Californians. Our budget and economic problems will drag on if Redevelopment comes back. Instead let’s start the road to economic recovery by returning Property Taxes back to the way the voters originally intended for them to be used.

Please make sure that our State representatives understand this. (See “How You Can Help” link for access info)

CRA Meeting 5-15-2008

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4sXzOKh8yw

CalWatchDog.com
Supreme Court Rebukes Crony Capitalism

http://www.calwatchdog.com/2012/01/06/supreme-court-rebukes-crony-capitalism/

CapitolWeekly.net
Redevelopment agencies’ new bill targets Feb. 1 deadline

http://www.capitolweekly.net/article.php?_c=109i7r6n5mw10m9&1=1&xid=109d7v8a6b19gz9&done=.109ercminotrbqw&_credir=1325871311&_c=109i7r6n5mw10m9

California Planning & Development Report
City, County, State Play Hot Potato with Los Angeles RDA | California Planning & Development Report

http://www.cp-dr.com/node/3092

The City Maven
End of Community Redevelopment Agency Could Mean More Money for LAFD

http://www.thecitymaven.com/2012/01/13/end-of-community-redevelopment-agency-could-mean-more-money-for-lafd/