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Manteca loses $6.7M in state money grab
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Manteca’s elected city leaders are ready to join other cities in suing the State of California over the $86 billion budget signed Thursday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Language in the budget will cost the Manteca Redevelopment Agency $6.7 million.

That’s Manteca’s share of a $1.7 billion swipe of funding from agencies up and down California that’s being used to balance the state budget. It brings the amount of money taken by the state from Manteca in all forms – including money they promised to pay back but never did – to almost $25 million since 1991.

“It is deeply regrettable that the Governor is choosing to ignore the State constitution and sign illegal legislation to eliminate redevelopment agencies,” said Chris McKenzie, executive director, League of California Cities. “This is a smoke and mirrors budget that includes a phantom $1.7 billion in revenues from redevelopment agencies that will never materialize, ultimately triggering deeper cuts to other state programs down the line.”

John Shirey, executive director of the California Redevelopment Agency Association, was equally strident in his response.

“Make no mistake about it: (This) would lead to the elimination of redevelopment agencies throughout California,” Shirey said. “Since the passage of these bills, we’ve heard from dozens and dozens of agencies that will not be able to make the ‘ransom’ payment, and thus will be forced to shut down, eliminating hundreds of thousands of jobs in the process.  We plan to file a lawsuit to prevent this legislation from going into effect.”

Pinkerton said the council has already indicated they will join any effort to fight the budget proposal in court.

Manteca has a $60 million reserve for the RDA that can cover the state’s commandeering of funds. It will, however, make it increasingly difficult to fund projects such as needed interchanges on the two state freeways that run through Manteca. The state, several years ago, decreed that any major interchange improvements that cities need to accommodate growth would not receive state construction funding.

It means that the state has now taken 40 percent of Manteca’s taxing capacity under the RDA. It also puts in motion $1.4 million worth of money grabs in the coming years to effectively cut into the taxing capacity of the RDA by 49 percent.

That means money borrowed using RDA tax increment to invest in everything from job-creating projects, infrastructure and fighting blight to affordable housing will instead go to Sacramento to cover one-time budget gaps.

The bottom line is that 49 cents on every $1 paid by Manteca property owners over the next 30 years into the RDA will now finance a one-time balancing of the state budget with no local benefits derived from the property taxes collected.