Four legislative measures that would impact California’s cities and counties ability to direct property tax funds to local development projects were recently sent to Governor Jerry Brown for approval. This move comes after the Governor last July approved AB 26x which dissolved the activities of California’s redevelopment agencies (RDA), effective February 1, 2012. The four bills, SB 1156 introduced by Senate Pro Tem Darrel Steinberg (D-Sacramento); SB 214 introduced by Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis); AB 2551 introduced by Assemblyman Ben Hueso (D-San Diego); and AB 2144 introduced by Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles) would allow cities and counties to funnel property tax revenues from local agencies into areas designated for development. A key difference between these approved bills and the old law is that the bills would prohibit any funding being taken away from schools. A summary of the four bills are as follows:

  • SB 1156 establishes “Sustainable Communities Investment Authorities” (SCIA), which are entities similar to the former redevelopment agencies, but would allow counties and other local agencies to withhold funding if the SCIA does not support planned development. This could potentially alleviate the city and county fights which were prevalent under the previous model;
  • SB 214 would eliminate the voter approval requirement for creation of an infrastructure financing district (IFD) and authorizes cities/counties the ability to create the IFD. SB 214 also expands the types of projects eligible for financing through an IFD
  • AB 2551 authorizes the establishment of an IFD in renewable energy zone areas and exempts the voter approval requirement for those applicable renewable energy projects
  • AB 2144 would lower the the voter approval rate for the creation of an IFD to 55% voter approval.

The 2012 legislative session ended August 31, 2012 and it is unclear whether Governor Brown will sign any of the bills. The Governor’s office has not commented on the pending legislation.

Click here to read SB 1156.
Click here to read SB 214.
Click here to read AB 2551.

Click here to read AB 2144.