Santa Paula Times

SP has $41K bill: More RDA funding at stake due to state budget crisis

January 10, 2003
Santa Paula City Council
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesVentura County cities, including Santa Paula, are waiting to hear what Governor Gray Davis has to say during his State of the State address tonight: at stake is more redevelopment funds that might be grabbed to help offset the critical state deficit.So far the county’s 10 redevelopment agencies have lost $1.3 million that was shifted from cities to schools.“My sense is that the governor will go after redevelopment agencies and not cities,” directly, said Santa Paula City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz. “How much money depends on how he wants to slice it.”Santa Paula has already lost about $41,000 that must be sent to the state via the county by May 10th.The Santa Paula Redevelopment Agency has a projected end of current budget balance of around $300,000.“The state could conceivably take a part or all of it,” said Bobkiewicz. “We’ll have a better idea after Wednesday. . .”
About two-thirds of Santa Paula is considered in the redevelopment area, created to generally support improvement programs in older areas. Blight elimination, affordable housing programs and streetscape improvements are examples of allowable uses of redevelopment funding. A portion of property tax increases generated in the redevelopment areas funds redevelopment agencies.A city doesn’t have to be poor to create redevelopment areas: Thousand Oaks, considered among the wealthiest cities in Ventura County, had to hand back $362,000 to the state and Camarillo $2.5 million.Bobkiewicz said the city will wait until the “last moment,” to garner City Council approval to send the redevelopment funds to the state.The Legislature bridged a $24 billion gap in the 2002-2003 budget in part through the shift of funds from city redevelopment agencies to schools. According to state officials, another $6 billion could be cut from the 2002-2003 budget this month, and another $15 billion could be cut in the 2003-2004 budget.