The money-sucking state

Stanislaus County has to surrender $10 million in redevelopment funds to the state, even though an independent consultant determined those funds were spoken for.

Gov. Jerry Brown eliminated redevelopment agencies statewide in 2011 so the cash-strapped state could seize the money. The move made reviving downtown harder. It even raised the prospect Stockton would have go sell off gems like the Bob Hope Theatre.

The law said cities and counties could keep any obligated money: money contracted to projects, or owed in debt. Stanislaus County got an independent analyst to say the $10 million was spoken for.

The California Department of Finance didn’t buy it.

Brown argues there were redevelopment abuses. There were. Maybe Stockton offended by putting 40 percent of the entire city in a redevelopment district. But redevelopment had a legitimate job to do: to clean up the blight in older cities. Every time Brown is championed as a fiscal reformer, remember he achieved a balanced budget in part by drastically reducing Stockton’s ability to restore itself. That’s predatory statism.

The state contended Stockton owed it $2.5 million. Stockton countered that money was already spent, or due to be spent. Amazingly, the state backed off reasonably, pending a “due diligence review” Stockton is doing of its recent finances. The review is tentatively scheduled to be completed by the end of this month. If the state concurs the books show the money is obligated, Stockton won’t have a debt to the state.

 

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form.
  • Blog Author

    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
  • Categories

  • Archives

  • RSS Related Content

    • 'Flying machine' wowed Stockton, vexed press in 1896
      The mysterious flying craft was made of metal. It stretched around 150 feet, sported two flapping canvas wings and sprouted a rudder shaped like a bird's tail. […]
    • Hell on wheels? Sure, why not?
      Crossing India is an adventure. Crossing India during monsoon season is a punishing adventure. Crossing India during monsoon season in a flimsy motorized rickshaw ... are you kidding? […]
    • Nocetis' conviction on festival admirable
      Kudos to promoters Tony and Carol Noceti for their bold pledge to revive the Asparagus Festival. I wonder if they realize what they are getting into. […]