California cities disputing redevelopment bills

From The Reporter:

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown’s finance department said 27 local governments have failed to pay or have underpaid the state after the governor tried to sweep up billions of dollars from community redevelopment agencies that were eliminated this year.
Yet cities such as San Jose, Stockton and Brea are disputing the bill from the administration, saying it is using unreasonable accounting methods. Officials there said forcing payments to the state could trigger bond defaults.

“All we’re asking is simple: Let us pay our bond debt,” said Eric Nicoll, community development director for the Orange County city of Brea, which has paid $831,000 of the state’s $15.5 million tab.

Brown planned on receiving $3.1 billion from the elimination of about 400 community redevelopment agencies to help bridge California’s budget deficit. Under the change, more property tax revenue that once went to economic development efforts would be going to local school districts — a move that helps offset state funding for schools.

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