league_of_citiesOriginally published in the League of Cities’ City Advocate Weekly.

The League board of directors met this afternoon and voted by a 3 – 1 margin to endorse the California Redevelopment Association’s (CRA) alternative to the Governor’s proposal to eliminate redevelopment.

The proposal, which has been delivered to legislators, provides schools with potentially billions of dollars over the course of the proposal, yields immediate state general fund relief and preserves redevelopment as a vital economic development tool. The League board met today following the completion of a short survey that assessed mayors and council members’ positions on this alternative. (66 percent of survey respondents agreed with the CRA proposal and 34 percent opposed).

The League recently held a special video conference to brief elected city officials on the latest state budget developments and to review CRA’s proposal and asked participants to take the survey.

Under the CRA plan, redevelopment agencies could voluntarily contribute 20 percent of their funds (equivalent to their annual housing set-aside) the first year and/or up to 10 percent of their tax increment funds each year for up to 10 years to local schools within their redevelopment project areas. In exchange for this voluntary contribution to schools, redevelopment agencies would be granted extensions of their project life-spans. Because the program would be voluntary, it would not violate the State Constitution, or the will of the voters who supported Proposition 22.

CRA conservatively estimates that $700 million to $1 billion would be available as a one-time upfront payment that could help bridge the state’s FY 2011-12 budget gap. The CRA alternative could raise more than $2.7 billion over the 10-year life of the proposal.

You can read the rest of the League of Cities’ City Advocate Weekly at this link.