The Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has unanimously approved supporting the City of Santa Clara and local grassroots organizations in fighting to keep redevelopment agency assets in Santa Clara.
This all started in 2011 when the California Legislature passed ABX26 and ABX27. These bills were written to meet Governor Jerry Brown’s mission to move the redevelopment agency (RDA) funds and assets away from California cities to their respective county taxing authorities to help close California’s $25 billion deficit. Several lawsuits were filed shortly thereafter resulting in additional legislation called AB1484. This new law gave counties even more access to city RDA assets.
The dissolution of the RDAs is being “managed” by an RDA “successor” agency. This body of seven people (two from the City of Santa Clara and five from the county agencies) are now making decisions on which RDA assets should stay with the City. Due to the excellent work that was done by our past elected officials and city staff, Santa Clara has an asset-rich RDA which is very attractive to the County.
Now the County is demanding $340 million in Santa Clara real estate assets as part of the RDA dissolution. Included in these assets is the land that California’s Great America, Hyatt Regency Santa Clara, Santa Clara Convention Center, Hilton Hotel and Techmart office building sit on. Recently, the RDA funded Northside library was ordered to halt completion by a Santa Clara County court order (even though the library is 99% complete).
These takeaways will impact the City’s general fund revenues by over $13 million a year. The total impact to the city is unclear but you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that significant cuts in city services will be needed to be made to make up the shortfall.
The Chamber strongly believes these assets should remain within the City of Santa Clara since many were funded by the RDA decades ago in a legal and open process. The city, business community and residents can’t afford more cuts to city services. Please join the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce in communicating your opposition to the RDA takeaway by calling or emailing Ken Yeager, our County Supervisor. He can be reached at 408-299-5040 or by email at email@example.com.