SACRAMENTO: Redevelopment, California Dept. of Finance demanding cash from Orange County cities, combined $263 million in unused funds previously earmarked for low- and moderate-income housing"
* Orange County Register: "State demands cash from O.C. cities" - From the Register:
The state Department of Finance has demanded in recent weeks that 19 Orange County cities and the county itself turn over a combined $263 million in unused funds previously earmarked for low- and moderate-income housing.
Some cities have already. . . . . .. Others are fighting the demand, saying the state's calculations are wrong. Officials in at least two cities still are trying to figure out what to do.
The state says the cities and the county must turn over this money in the wake of last year's dissolution of California's 400 redevelopment agencies, which were required to set aside property tax revenue for low- and moderate-income housing. Under the law, these unused funds would not go to the state, but rather be redirected to schools, cities, counties and special districts.
The state Department of Finance says it is merely enforcing the law. State finances will not directly benefit from these funds, although as more of this money goes to schools, the less the state has to provide them out of the General Fund to meet the Proposition 98 minimum school-funding guarantee.
If the cities and the county do not pay, they could see their sales or property tax revenue withheld by the state, or officials could even face criminal penalties for willfully disregarding the law. But Department of Finance officials say initially they will be trying to work with local governments to avoid any punitive actions..............