On behalf of the Pasadena City Council and the entire community, I want to extend gratitude to Assemblyman Anthony Portantino for his opposition to two California Assembly bills and his support for redevelopment.
Last week, despite his opposition, the California Legislature, as part of their budget package, passed the two bills – ABX1 26 and ABX1 27 – that seek to extract $1.7 billion from redevelopment agencies this year and $400 million next year and ongoing into the future.
ABX1 26, as adopted, eliminates redevelopment agencies effective Oct. 1, 2011; ABX1 27 exempts any redevelopment agency from elimination if it makes specified payments to the state.
At this time we do not know the exact payment amounts. Legislation of this type directly underminesPasadena’s financial ability to move forward with many of our planned projects such as the rehabilitation of the YWCA building, renovations to the Villa-Parke Community Center gymnasium and improvements to Central Park in Old Pasadena.
This legislation also jeopardizes many jobs throughout our community and eliminates millions of dollars in revenue that otherwise could be used to provide safe and affordable housing opportunities for Pasadena residents who need them most.
We will continue to analyze the two bills and formulate a strategic response to the legislative action that will keep Pasadena’s tax dollars in Pasadena.
Nonetheless, we believe, along with many legal experts throughout the state, that the bills violate the following provisions of the California Constitution:
· Article XIIIA, Section 25.5, which prohibits city or county property tax from being used for schools.
· Article XIIIA, Section 1, which prohibits the transfer of property tax to transit districts.
· Article XIII, Section 24, which prohibits the legislature from restricting the use of taxes imposed by local governments for their local purposes.
· Article XIIIA, Section 25.5, which prohibits indirect allocation of tax increment to schools, transit districts and fire protection districts.
· Article XVI, Section 6, which prohibits the transfer of city or county revenues to schools, transit districts and fire protection districts, which are unlawful gifts of public funds.
· Article XIIIB, which prohibits the use of property tax to fund state mandates.
· Article XVI, Section 16, which requires all tax increment to be used to repay indebtedness incurred by redevelopment agencies to carry out redevelopment projects.
· Article XIIIA, Section 25.5, which prohibits city and county property tax from being transferred to special districts without a 2/3 vote.
Overall, we stand with the League of California Cities and the California Redevelopment Associationand their members in the belief that ABX1 26 and ABX1 27 are bills that would eliminate the only local tool available to create jobs, eliminate blight and fund affordable housing.