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Q. How does the recent directly affect Santee?
A. is very tricky and complicated; I will attempt to put this into as little of a nut-shell (more like a Coconut shell) summary as possible.
Without a , for every dollar of property tax collected, 18 cents goes to the City of Santee’s general fund, primarily for public safety. The other 82 cents gets sucked into the State of California rat-hole and some other agencies. The State of California has been stealing our Santee money for years, killing local redevelopment is simply the latest heist.
Within a Santee redevelopment project area, 80 percent of the property tax money stays in Santee. We have wisely used the tax increment money (that’s the bureaucratic term) for things such as Marketplace at Santee, the (), replaced blighted buildings and constructed new facilities such as ($22 million). Also 20 percent of Santee’s total redevelopment tax share is used for mobile home rental assistance ($75 a month per qualified mobile home) and affordable housing projects such as the .
Redevelopment areas work like this; let’s say the City would like to build a project that right now is just a . Dirt lots generate very little property tax. We sell bonds (tax increment bonds) build something valuable on the dirt and generate very nice property taxes (not counting ). That tax increment is used to pay off the bonds. Through the years Santee has paid down or off various bonds that allowed us to roll the money into other projects.
So, you may ask what the bottom line is now.
Although no new redevelopment projects can be initiated, the tax monies needed to pay previously incurred debt for projects is off limits to the State. Since Santee prior to the , the tax revenues needed to pay for these projects will be protected.
The future impacts are still being figured out by the , City Manager and staff.
Here are my best guesses and concerns:
- Will we ever be able to do affordable housing/low income again?
- Will we be able to continue for our poor and seniors?
- Will the State of California ever return to Santee the money stripped from us?
- How will this affect vital City operations?
- If we are only getting 18% of property taxes versus 80% will there be a redesign of the percents?
I look forward to our City Manager’s /Staff report on these questions and many others. This is a rapidly developing situation, with many moving parts. We are not alone- there are 400 other redevelopment agencies in the State trying to figure out the same things.
Mayor, City of Santee
Note: Santee used $8.2 million in redevelopment funds last year.
Please forgive me for being bitter towards Sacramento but they have sucked most California Cities dry and now they are trying to finish the Cities off with this latest outrage. What galls me the most is they are still more than $13 billion out of balance on the State budget even AFTER they steal the money from the Cities.