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Temecula Redevelopment Agency is Gone But Debt Left Behind

Though the agency in Temecula is gone, there are still projects inked in for completion and the money for those projects -- and those completed -- must be repaid.

This article was modified at 12 p.m. Nov. 4, 2012, to include the information that money to repay bonds is generated by property taxes.

When Gov. Jerry Brown did away with redevelopment agencies throughout the state in 2011, city officials all over California balked at the loss of money that for decades has been used to renovate blighted areas and pay for construction.

Temecula officials were no exception, joining a lawsuit against the state in an effort to keep the RDAs afloat.

The Supreme Court upheld the state's right to abolish RDAs.

Though the agency in Temecula is gone, there are still projects inked in for completion and the money for those projects must be repaid.

"There is a successor agency that is responsible for completing all the transactions started by the Redevelopment Agency," city Director of Development Patrick Richardson recently told Patch.

"The Successor Agency of the Redevelopment Agency of Temecula," is now the entity that gets money from the county twice yearly to pay for the capital improvement bonds issued over the years.

The agency manages money that is generated by property taxes and apportioned to the cities by the county, once the state approves the expenditure, according to Temecula City Councilman Mike Naggar.

Most of the projects started by the Temecula Redevelopment Agency have been completed -- the last set of bonds were issued in 2011 -- but there are still debts to pay for those completed and those left to finish.

To be exact, $90 million debt.

"Those were obligations that we have to continue to pay," Richardson told Patch.

“We can’t enter into any new obligations," he added.

Any tax increments generated by redevelopment projects that are currently up and running go to the state.

When RDAs became history, he said, "$1 billion (total from all California RDAs) went to the state off the top."

Any additional revenue that is generated is divvied up among the taxing entities, such as school districts, the community college district, water district, county and city.

Twice a year, the county controller distributes tax increment to all of the redevelopment successor agencies.

"Twice a year, we have to prepare the recognized obligation payment schedule and we have to send that to the state and we have to outline all debt obligations for a six-month period.

"They (the state) verify that those obligations are valid, they notify the county controller to release those funds," Richardson said.

There are about 11 projects for which the city is still paying; the first set of capital improvement bonds were issued in 2002, he said.

For the fiscal period ending June 30, the total payment from the county to Temecula was $6 million, Richardson said.

That is the money used to pay for the debt incurred by the Redevelopment Agency projects already built and currently underway.

There are two projects only left on the list started by the former RDA -- both of them in Old Town and both of them affordable housing developments.

Designed to combat blight in mostly aging urban areas, redevelopment agencies had the legal authority to define parts of the city as redevelopment areas, and any tax growth in those areas each year went to that city’s redevelopment agency for local improvement projects, instead of to the state.

Opponents of redevelopment agencies, including Brown, said the agencies siphoned property tax dollars away from schools and public safety, and have had had no real spending oversight.

Redevelopment money was earmarked for numerous projects in Temecula, such as the Mary Phillips Senior Center, the Overland Drive bridge, contributions to opening the Cal State San Marcos Temecula campus, the parking garage at The Promenade mall and the I-15 exit at Winchester Road.

Brenda November 06, 2012 at 05:06 AM
Exactly, and its not like we dont have the the latters who just come to argue, whew got enough of those. Arguing doesnt resolve anything and prompts the persons to never agree even morebecause then it becames a win situation instead of agree to disagree, and a who can get the last word in. Instead of resolving it. Same with who sits in our Chairs right? Not one person in our chairs up until today ever admitted any wrong doing or decision making to any of us in Temecula. Or we lied about some things for this reason or that, or we twisted this a bit to help Temecula, or so and so did it. How many different stories we heard about our Hospital I cannot remember, Going back and forth between them and our Council/City Building/Permits, but then this Muslim group walks in turns in papers everything is in order, building is UP! How does that happen in a year or so and a hospital 10 years? So many lies, and so many actions that prove the lies, just like these debates. How can council members that have had those chairs for soooo long not come and answer to us and their running mates? They do have all the answers right having sat in those chairs for so long?
Brenda November 06, 2012 at 05:14 AM
Gard, I would not vote for him just because of this hospital fiasco that went on for 1o yrs ALONE. It was nothing but lies it was our Cities fault, no it was the hospital Mgmt team, no City, no Hospital Mgmt. Then of course the Mgmt team from the hospital via the Patch I believe showed a by date activity by the Mgmt team as opposed to what the City was saying. That was finally when the City finally approved the plans that had been sitting there forever the last time. Because during all this time "they" were being courted by the Owners of the Loma Linda Hospital. Luncheons, trips to Washington supporting privately owned by doctors hospitals etc. All paid for by the owners of Loma LInda. Then the parties, and grand openings! So for those few years Loma Linda was prostituting themselves to everyone in a Chair, our hospital went on hold with papers sitting on "someones" desk. City then says well its the Hospital Mgmt companies fault because of their bad inspections for the prior year. Oh lord, well what about the 9 years before that Council? Hmm? They had a perfect record, awards, rewards, commendations of excellence in care, and was the new hospital built then as we are growing in leaps and bounds? People are sitting in tents for 2 or 3 nights to put in an offer on a house that isnt even built yet? All that money piling in and we cannot get a hospital built?
Brenda November 06, 2012 at 05:22 AM
Wndy, Even if 2 million is true that is a small penny in the piggy bank. Think about it. That was the cost of homes oh around 2006. So, 4 homes, 2 million dollars. Think of every single home that sold in this City, every single business that was bought with property, or without, big and small, think of all the property and other taxes collected? I don't know about the rest of you but property taxes alone on one house is/was in the range of 15k plus extra's through the year for school improvement or parks. All the plans and fee's submitted, inspection fee's, etc. etc. and who can even begin to know how much this City has generated in the past 10 years. If we had a 2 million dollar reserve I would be just as scared. :/
Brenda November 06, 2012 at 05:26 AM
I am going to bed now, and I hope you all have a good night, and sleep well. I am hopeful that it will be out with the too damn old and lying cronies, and in with the new who had better stay as honest and open as they appear to be now. Otherwise there will be a lynch mob. LOL, especially if we dont cut back on what all the City workers make!!! Someone find that article that shows almost everyone makes 100K or over, its insanity. Those need to be cut immediately to pay back this debt that our wonder cronies got us into the last 10 years. LOL, and gave themselves huge raises. Jim great information given out tonight!! Cudos to you and everyone else who delivers the facts as it makes it much easier to discuss.
Gandhi November 11, 2012 at 07:43 AM
Quite disgusted to see the sheeple put the same crooks back in office again. AND apparently the newspaper decided to "investigate" their own story here and update the facts by stating on November 4th that the money to repay bonds is generated by property taxes! Imagine that! Is it just me, or do you feel that most of the people in this city have an IQ of a 9 year old? Temecula gets what it deserves I guess, if they refuse to educate themselves.

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