By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Manteca RDA has $89.8M in its accounts
Placeholder Image
Independent auditors give the Manteca Redevelopment Agency high marks for fiscal soundness.

Little wonder given the fact as of July 1, 2009 the Manteca RDA had $89,878,185 in the bank.

And after an array of projects ranging from more subsidized senior citizens housing and Library Park improvements to new road projects are completed there will still be $72.9 million left in accounts when the fiscal year ends June 30.

Critics contend the Manteca Redevelopment Agency is siphoning money away from the Manteca Unified School District. They also point out that it diverts money from municipal general funds.

RDA backers – including City Manager Steve Pinkerton who in his previous job as Stockton’s RDA executive director served as  the architect of the renaissance of that  city’s downtown -  emphasize that it is the only remaining effective tool for California cities to spur economic development and fight blight.

Pinkerton also noted that redevelopment investment also pays off through increasing the overall tax base for both the school district and the city.

Altogether, there are 387 redevelopment agencies in California. The California Redevelopment Association points out the 2006-07 fiscal year redevelopment agencies statewide generated $40.8 billion in economic activity that supported 304,000 new full- and part-time jobs.

The Manteca City Council was updated on the financial status of the RDA during a recent mid-year workshop. Even if the California Redevelopment Agency Association ends up losing its lawsuit to block the state’s seizure of money from RDA accounts this fiscal year to balance the budget, Manteca will still be in good shape. The $6.1 million hit can be absorbed in Manteca without imperiling debt repayment. That is not the case in many other RDA jurisdictions.

The RDA starts collecting property taxes after its initial year in existence. That means if there is any new valuation created either by new construction, improving existing structure, or the 2 percent annual jump in valuation allowed under Proposition 13 it goes to the RDA account.

But the RDA doesn’t keep 100 percent of it. Thirty percent of the money is passed through to any local school district which in this case is Manteca Unified. Add in other pass through funds that go to the state or special districts and $8.8 million is taken away from the annual RDA tax collection off the top. Another $350,000 is taken by San Joaquin County for administrative related expenses in handling tax receipts.

School districts that are part of redevelopment agencies have state funding formulas that also make sure the operational funding they receive from Sacramento per pupil is the same as school districts not in RDA territory. Manteca Unified has used their RDA projects to fund capital improvement projects within the district such as the new community gyms.

In the current fiscal year, that means the $16,034,300 in property tax revenue will actually mean $8.6 million will make it to the RDA to fund debt repayment, projects, and affordable housing after the school district and other pass through revenues get their cut of the tax receipts.

The RDA also has $592,500 in interest as revenue this year based on borrowed money that is sitting in accounts waiting to fund projects or make debt payments.

Under California law an RDA must create debt primarily by selling bonds before it can do anything.

Also state law requires that 20 percent of the RDA revenues be spent on affordable housing.

Projects being funded by tax increment include senior housing rehab grabs ($250,000), residential rehab grants ($250,000), and first-time homebuyers’ assistance program ($1.5 million.)

Other tax increment funded projects include business development loans ($500,000), downtown parking ($10,000), marketing materials ($175,000), and San Joaquin Partnership ($35,000) among other expenditures.

Debt proceeds are funding senior subsidized housing ($2,000,000), façade improvements ($150,000), signage improvements ($200,000), Library Park improvements ($696,000), neighborhood sidewalk replacement ($39,495), library ($67,010), veterans memorial ($50,000), various road improvements including the Atherton Drive missing link (over $4.9 million), Milo Candini storm retention basin ($1,987,915), and various business park designs (over $800,000).

At the end of the fiscal year, the RDA is projected to have $72,944,375 on hand unless, of course, the state does end up taking the $6.1 million if it prevails in court.