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Guest opinion: Blight no longer makes right

Original post made on Jan 18, 2012

Three weeks ago the California Supreme Court abruptly stopped the redevelopment merry-go-round. While Menlo Park city officials bid unhappy adieu to a subterranean revenue stream that allowed them to address challenges in east Menlo Park, I personally am relieved that one of the tight random twists in the Gordian knot of California public finance has been cut.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, January 17, 2012, 2:10 PM

Comments (6)

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Posted by Jim Knapp
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 18, 2012 at 9:13 am

Poorly written article. Redevelopment was the states most significant point of political corruption; millions of dollars in NO-BID contracts going to insider fat-cat developers in exchange for campain contributions. Its called campain fund money laundering. Good riddence to Redevelopment.

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Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm

When you call an article poorly written, I wouldn't use "words" like "campain" (2x) or "riddence."

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Posted by Harry
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jan 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Since the homeowners who live in blighted areas are paying the tax surcharges that fund redevelopment agencies, it would seem that those residents should have been included in the discussion of how the money is allocated.

In Menlo Park, redevelopment money to code enforcement was cut, while millions were spent on Gateway Apartments along with many BMR homes. We now have an excess of 143 such homes in Belle Haven. Yet, there is no money to keep the lights on for 1 hour per month so the neighborhood association can meet at the community center.

Police substation? Cameras? Nada. Maybe Menlo Park should do the right thing and return that $1.5M to the people from whom those taxes were collected.

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Posted by Stu
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jan 18, 2012 at 1:40 pm

It's time for the Menlo Park school district to step up to the plate and absorb the Belle Haven school. This is one of the key steps to improve the economics east of 101 once and for all.

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Posted by Not a tax surcharge
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 18, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Harry, property owners in redev't. areas haven't been paying any property tax "surcharge" to fund redevelopment. Putting properties in a redevelopment area did not change the tax rate; it just redirected any tax growth derived from an increase in property value to redevelopment agencies instead of to the jurisdictions that would have otherwise received that property tax increment.

The redevelopment activities over time may (or may not) have increased the property value and thus increased property tax bills accordingly, but no additional taxes were levied by virtue of a property's inclusion in a redevelopment area.

Nothing in the present dissolution of redevelopment agencies changes the property tax rates either. It's just that now those taxes will flow to the local agencies (city, county, school district, other special districts) that would have received them in the absence of redevelopment agencies.

Refunding money to property owners wouldn't have made any sense at all. You don't get to demand a property tax refund just because you don't like the way the local agency has spent the money.

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Posted by Aquamarine
a resident of another community
on Jan 18, 2012 at 11:18 pm

[Post removed. Please discuss the topic, and avoid characterizing other posters.]

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