After meeting, apparently unsuccessfully, with Gov. Jerry Brown several weeks ago to ask him to back off of his plan to eliminate redevelopment, the mayors of the state's ten largest cities are reportedly lobbying for a compromise. The mayors' plan would preserve revelopment while also generating $1.7 billion to help offset the state's deficit. That is roughly the amount of property tax increment that the governor hoped to recover by doing away with redevelopment entirely.
The mayors' plan, which reportedly originated out of the office of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, would employ a distinctive, and novel, funding metchanism that Villaraigosa has explored before. The $1.7 billion would not be a transfer payment -- such as this year's SERAF transfer -- but rather a loan that would be borrowed against redevelopment agencies' future tax receipts. Agencies would collectively set aside $200 million annually over the next 25 years to pay off the loan.
A spokeperson for the governor told the Sacramento Bee that no such proposal had been delivered to the governor. He indicated that the governor would not be receptive to "any plan involving smoke, mirrors or gimmicks."
This is roughly the same strategy that Villaraigosa has proposed for funding his "30/10" transportation plan. That plan would borrow up to $30 billion from the federal government in order to construct a slate of transit projects all at once. That loan would be paid off by expected tax revenues from an extant special sales tax. While Villaraigosa has had to appeal to Capitol Hill lawmakers to push his "30/10" plan, the redevelopment plan would be ask California voters to amend Proposition 22 and thereby allow the transfer to the state government. Opponents of the proposed elimination point to Prop. 22 as a major legal impediment for the governor.
Earlier this week over 900 mayors and council members from across the state signed a letter [pdf] urging the governor to reconsider his proposal. That letter threatens legal action under Prop. 22 if the governor's plan goes forward. On Friday committees of both the Senate and Assembly approved the governor's plan.