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Brown’s Budget Plan Threatens Redevelopment

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Aired 1/11/11

Part of Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to balance the state budget is to eliminate redevelopment agencies. If the legislature approves his proposal, millions of dollars worth of development, including a new Chargers stadium, could be at risk.

Part of Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to balance the state budget is to eliminate redevelopment agencies. If the legislature approves his proposal, millions of dollars worth of development, including a new Chargers stadium, could be at risk.

California Governor Jerry Brown points to a chart as he speaks to reporters as he announces his proposed budget at the California State Capitol on January 10, 2011 in Sacramento, California.
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Above: California Governor Jerry Brown points to a chart as he speaks to reporters as he announces his proposed budget at the California State Capitol on January 10, 2011 in Sacramento, California.

Development to upgrade blighted areas is often funded by sales tax money that would otherwise go to Sacramento to pay for services like health and welfare.

Brown suggests eliminating redevelopment agencies. Local communities would then get to chose whether to spend sales taxes on buildings or on services.

Doug Johnson of the Rose Institute for State and Local Governments at Claremont McKenna College said development projects already contracted out would be safe, but not those in the planning stages.

"This definitely threatens all that San Diego is currently looking at doing with redevelopment,"Johnson said. "It will take time to wind down current projects, but it could be a very quick and painful death to all not yet signed projects, if the governor’s plans go forward as he’s currently outlining them."

San Diego Centre City Redevelopment Agency recently extended its power to fund downtown redevelopment, like a Chargers stadium. Brown’s proposal would jeopardize that, and allow local government to decide if the money should be used elsewhere.

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