Town of Truckee votes to save redevelopment agency in wake of state legislation | SierraSun.com

Town of Truckee votes to save redevelopment agency in wake of state legislation

Jason Shueh
Sierra Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Redevelopment and#8220;Kabukiand#8221; is the term the townand#8217;s attorney is using to describe recent state legislation regarding redevelopment agencies that staff projects could cost the town about $802,000 with no benefit for residents.

and#8220;A procedure was set out to abolish the agencies which and#8230; was one of the most astonishingly bureaucratic, complex and incomprehensible pieces of legislation Iand#8217;ve encountered in my entire career,and#8221; said Town Attorney Dennis Crabb.

Crabb coined the term and#8212; and#8220;Kabukiand#8221; referring to classical Japanese theater and#8212; at last Thursdayand#8217;s town council meeting to illustrate the ambiguity and complexity of the legislation approved within the state budget on June 28.

Though details are hazy, two parts of the legislation have raised red flags and#8212; chiefly, an ultimatum to towns, cities and counties to either eliminate redevelopment agencies altogether (while allowing local governments to designate successor agencies to handle remaining obligations such as bond payments) or to save redevelopment agencies by redirecting much of their revenue streams to the state.

and#8220;Either we pay the ransom or they kill the child,and#8221; said Council Member Carolyn Wallace Dee.

Crabb recommended saving the Truckee RDA, yet warned of the many barbs attached to the legislation, one of which requiring the town make additional state payments of up to $180,000 per year.

Council members voted unanimously to save the townand#8217;s RDA by giving initial agreement toward state payments, with a final agreement coming likely in August.

In a follow-up interview, David Griffith, the townand#8217;s redevelopment and housing coordinator, said the one-time fee of $802,000 and the annual amount of $180,000 are based on a state formula to assess an agencyand#8217;s tax increment revenues and#8212; collected from property taxes in areas where an RDA has raised property values through construction projects.

The California Redevelopment Association and League of Cities have filed a lawsuit to block the state plan and have asked for a stay on the payments.

and#8220;Thereand#8217;s a request for stay and a request for a hearing by Aug. 15,and#8221; Crabb said.

Since the state budget reserves some of the collected funding from RDAs for school districts, Council Member Mark Brown asked Crabb if the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District would be eligible for some of the money. Since TTUSD is a basic aid district and#8212; a district that receives the majority of its funding from property tax revenues and#8212; Crabb said it would not.

This news led to a short exchange between Council Member Barbara Green and Mayor Richard Anderson.

and#8220;So Truckeeand#8217;s money is going down the drain,and#8221; Green said reluctantly.

and#8220;Well, itand#8217;s just going to somebody else,and#8221; said Anderson.

and#8220;Well, somebody elseand#8217;s drain,and#8221; Green replied.