The fight for and over redevelopment dollars continues to play out in the State Department of Finance, where officials are pouring over reams of documents relating to redevelopment wind down.
The state has the right to challenge expenses and debt obligations, and they are exercising that right. The most recent victims of the challenges come from Orange County, where Tustin, Stanton, Orange, Irvine, Mission Viejo and Garden Grove all have faced questions over the plans they submitted.
Tustin, the city with the most to lose, has had $215 million in debt obligations called into question. The most common target are loans made between the city and its redevelopment agency. Stanton is being questioned for $16.2 million in contracts that were signed after the passage of AB 1x 26. It was once a common tactic used to lock in debts to ensure the money didn’t fall into state hands. However, the state is challenging those sorts of transactions.
So far, the state has made its way through about half of the wind down plans that were submitted.
From the Orange County Register:
The state Department of Finance is challenging several Orange County cities over redevelopment bills – throwing into question the fate hundreds of millions of dollars that the cities say must be paid, while the state says, not so much.
In Tustin, some $215 million of “must-pay” redevelopment obligations have been called into question — including loans between the city and its redevelopment agency (which are essentially the same thing), according to documents from the Department of Finance. Critics have said such loans were one way cities pulled money out of one pocket and put it into another, and it’s something the DOF is on the prowl for.
Read the full article here.