Mayor Ed Lee heads to Sacramento to help rescue redevelopment agencies

Mayor Ed Lee is headed to Sacramento this week to try to convince Gov. Jerry Brown to spare redevelopment agencies for California cities.

Brown has suggested eliminating the agencies as a way to help trim the state’s $25 billion budget deficit.

Lee and other big-city California mayors are now proposing an alternative plan that he says will generate $1.7 billion for the state and “allow cities to continue to wisely use redevelopment dollars to leverage private dollars to revitalize communities, create local jobs and stimulate the local economy.”

The basics: Redevelopment agencies will transfer five percent of their property tax funding annually to the state, increase the share of property taxes to counties and schools, limit the amount of property that can be put in redevelopment areas, enhance public oversight and review of projects, and tighten restrictions on the use of affordable housing funds.

In San Francisco, redevelopment money has gone to the completion of projects such as the Embarcadero Center, the Yerba Buena Center, AT&T Park and thousands of units of affordable housing, according to the Mayor’s Office.

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