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Proposition 22 is not good for California

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Posted: Monday, October 25, 2010 12:00 am

Proposition 22 is a power grab by California redevelopment agencies. Redevelopment agencies now control 30 percent of all urbanized land and spend 12 percent of all property taxes (a figure that has doubled since 1990), now $6 billion annually, starving local agencies of needed revenues for essential services.

Assemblyman Chris Norby says that Proposition 22 would make the following big-government abuses worse:

  • Eminent domain: All properties within a redevelopment area are presumed to be blighted and can be seized by eminent domain. All attempts to end eminent domain abuse have since been fought by the California Redevelopment Association.
  • Impact on services: Counties have lost nearly $5 billion the past 15 years. California's 350 fire service districts stand to lose millions more if Proposition 22 passes. Local school districts are major losers, as tax dollars intended to build classrooms now build Costcos. Proposition 22 would make this revenue shift permanent, pressuring tax increases to make up the difference.
  • Corporate welfare: Republicans believe in a free market that functions best without government controls or subsidies. Yet redevelopment agencies pour billions of tax dollars into private malls, auto plazas, movie multiplexes, hotels and stadiums — many of which now sit empty.

Proposition 22 is intentionally deceptive. It looks good on paper, and sounds good, but has negative consequences.

Proposition 22 protects no one but redevelopment agencies. It would lock redevelopment protections into the state constitution, forbidding the Legislature from diverting redevelopment property increment funds to schools, fire departments or paramedics in times of need.

John Talbot


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