The Wicked Witch of Community Redevelopment Agencies is dead.
exercise of the legislative power vested in the Legislature by the state
Constitution,” the court ruled. “That power includes the authority to create entities, such as
redevelopment agencies, to carry out the state’s ends and the corollary power to dissolve
those same entities when the Legislature deems it necessary and proper. Proposition 22, while it amended the state Constitution to impose new limits on the
Legislature’s fiscal powers, neither explicitly nor implicitly rescinded the
Legislature’s power to dissolve redevelopment agencies.
Nor does article XVI, section 16 of the state Constitution, which authorizes the allocation of property
tax revenues to redevelopment agencies, impair that power.”
But the companion measure AB27x, sought by redevelopment officials, as a way to stay in business by partially restoring them if they surrendered some of their funding to the state was found to be unconstitutional. It violates the recently passed Proposition 22 that barred the Legislature from continuing its practice of borrowing or even confiscating funds allocated to cities, counties and other local government agencies.
Ironically, it was the CRA lobby that wanted Prop. 22 so badly to end the legislature’s practice of taking some of their money whenever there was a deficit, which has been nearly every year for a long time.
“A different conclusion is required with respect to
Assembly Bill 1X 27, the measure conditioning further redevelopment agency
operations on additional payments by an agency’s community sponsors to state funds
benefiting schools and special districts,” the court ruled. ”Proposition 22 (specifically Cal. Const., art. XIII, § 25.5, subd. (a)(7)) expressly forbids the Legislature from
requiring such payments. Matosantos’s argument that the payments are valid because
technically voluntary cannot be reconciled with the fact that the payments are
a requirement of continued operation.
Because the flawed provisions of Assembly Bill 1X 27 are not severable from other parts of that measure, the
measure is invalid in its entirety.”
Desperate to whittle down the $25 billion deficit he faced, the governor argued that CRAs had overall done a poor job of removing blight — the legal justification for creating them in the first place — because so much of the money was used to subsidize skyscrapers and luxury condos and apartments and so little to revive poor neighborhoods or even to build affordable housing.