Counties Oppose Democratic Plan to Take $250M of Pass-Through Money
Public CEO, June 15, 2012California lawmakers are hunting under every rock for possible money to plug the state’s budget gap. But canceling what CSAC Executive Director Paul McIntosh calls legally binding agreements would go a step too far.
The money, some $250 million of pass-through money received from redevelopment agencies, would be taken by the state and reallocated to schools and local governments – much like other money that shifted hands as part of the end of redevelopment agencies. The end of redevelopment, which Senate President Darrell Steinberg said has largely benefitted counties, should make the loss of the $250 million less painful to swallow. However, counties were already budgeting for their share of the money.
Yolo County, for instance, had 10 percent of its budget revenues coming from the pass-through agreements. Without that $5.5 million, but budget picture looks much different.
... Counties had long-standing "pass-through" agreements with redevelopment agencies to receive a share of property tax dollars each year. CSAC Executive Director Paul McIntosh said Wednesday that past agreements are still legally valid and should still be upheld...
President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said he believes the money should be divided up like any other property tax dollars among schools and local governments. He said counties have benefited generally by the elimination of redevelopment agencies, suggesting they should not complain about this loss of funds.
Lawmakers will not pass a bill stating that this money is theirs, but just assume it as one revenue source that helps erase the $15.7 billion deficit.
"This occurs by operation of law," said Steinberg, an attorney. "We don't take an affirmative act to appropriate the money. That's what occurs."
McIntosh said counties have already included this money in their budgets for the next fiscal year. He said Yolo County, for instance, had an agreement for $5.5 million, equal to nearly one-tenth of its $56 million general fund.