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.
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
Supreme Court Rebukes Crony Capitalism
Redevelopment agencies’ new bill targets Feb. 1 deadline
California Planning & Development Report
City, County, State Play Hot Potato with Los Angeles RDA | California Planning & Development Report
The City Maven
End of Community Redevelopment Agency Could Mean More Money for LAFD
by Rick Abrams
Beneath all the traffic congestion, lack of water and deficient infra-structure problems as well as high rises hiding of the views of the Hills lies the corrupt financial world of the CRA. The city councilmen such as mayor aspirant Eric Garcetti use the Corrupt Redevelopment Agency as the way to funnel tax payer dollars to the developers. If there were no CRA to bailout the developers, these hideous mistakes would not occur. For example, a rational developer would have understood that the Kodak Theater was either to be The Home for the Oscars or a shopping mall. Instead, they tried to do both and did it poorly resulting in a monstrosity and a $1/2 Billion loss.
If the CRA stays dead, then the Garcetti’s of this world will still look for ways to give billions of tax dollars to their buddy developers, but it will not be so easy. Without tax payer money, almost all the proposed nightmare projects for Hollywood are most likely dead.
The developers can read; they know Hollywood is in decline, and those who are intellectually honest also know density is a significant problem.
1. We do not have a Traffic problem; we have a Density problem. Cars do not fall from the sky to run around on our streets. Cars are like a person with the flu who has a 103 temperature. The infection causes the temperature, just as density causes cars.
2. Transit Oriented Districts [TOD’s] increase density, and hence, they increase traffic congestion. It has been known for over a decade that TOD’s do NOT result in people not having cars. Anyone who lives near a TOD also needs to have a car unless they wish to be a Urban Serf tied to their own little area.
3. The dumbest move of all is to provide limited off street parking in a TOD. People who may use the subway to commute to work, need off street parking even more since that need to park their cars in a secure place all day. They cannot take the subway home at 10:00 a.m to switch sides of the street and then subway back to Bunker Hills. The social engineers, however, think that coercing people into giving up their cars by not providing parking is wise. This may have worked temporarily in East Germany after WW II when people were too poor to have cars, but as the former Soviet Union can attest, coercive social measures tend to back fire. In Hollywood, the extra density with lack of parking has caused an accelerating exodus.
4. The real reason for the Big Lie about no need for parking in TOD’s is that off street parking costs money — between $20,000 and $50,000 per parking space. The developers prefer to keep the cash and not build adequate parking, pretending that they are doing something helpful. This Big Lie comes directly from the councilmembers like Garcetti and will outlive the demise of the CRA’s.
5. However, without the CRA’s loot to underwrite their projects, developers may realize that not providing adequate parking will make their projects financial losers and that they themselves will have to bear the financial loss. Compare the financial vibrancy of the Ralphs Complex on the N/E corner of Hollywood & Western with the financial disaster of the CRA Metro Project on the S/E corner of Hollywood & Western. Ralphs has parking and is busy; Metro has virtually no parking and after 12 years, it cannot rent 1/2 of its retail space.
Thus, killing the CRA is the first step to resuscitate Hollywood.