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.