April 5, 2013
Senator Kevin de Leon, Chair
Sacramento, CA 95814 Senator Mimi Walters, Vice Chair Senate Appropriations Committee State Capitol, Room 3086
Sacramento, CA 95814
Re: SB 33 – SUPPORT
Dear Senators de Leon and Walters:
We, the undersigned, a network of steward leaders representing all sectors (e.g., nonprofit, private, public, education, etc.) from California’s diverse economic regions who are dedicated to promoting a shared action agenda to catalyze California’s economic recovery through regional strategies, respectfully urge your support of Senate Bill (SB) 33 (Wolk)—a measure that would make it easier to establish Infrastructure Financing Districts throughout the State of California, enabling the development of critical infrastructure and offering communities a much-needed tool, especially with the demise of Redevelopment Agencies (RDA), to create jobs, reduce blight, and invigorate neighborhoods.
As you know, Infrastructure Financing Districts (IFDs) provide an opportunity for local governments to fund public infrastructure (such as highways, transit facilities, and libraries) by using bond proceeds that are repaid through property tax increment. While IFDs have been authorized in statute since 1990, overly complex and onerous barriers (such as the requirement of two-thirds voter approval for both the creation of the IFD and bonds associated with it) have prevented its full utilization. Though several efforts have been made to apply IFDs to specific local areas—such as San Francisco with AB 1199 (Ammiano) in 2010 and San Diego with SB 207 (Peace) in 1999—only a handful of projects have been delivered using this broader statutory authority in over 20 years.
SB 33 removes some of the most onerous barriers associated with the creation of and issuance of bonds tied to IFDs, including:
- Removing the two-thirds vote requirement associated with forming an IFD;
- Removing the two-thirds vote requirement for issuing IFD-associated bonds;
- Extending the life of an IFD from 30 years to 40 years, which increases an IFD’s bonding capacity; and
- Removing the prohibition against an IFD including any portion of a redevelopment project area.
Even more, SB 33 provides for several layers of additional accountability for IFDs by establishing a public financing authority made up of three members of the city council or board of supervisors that established the district and two members of the public as well as a public accountability committee to review the public financing authority’s actions.
With the elimination of RDA, local governments are in critical need of additional tools—like IFDs—to help finance and deliver much-needed infrastructure throughout the State of California. As such, we want to urge your support for SB 33—a bill we see as critical to strengthening our economy and providing local governments with needed tools to support California communities after redevelopment’s demise.
Sincerely,Bill Allen President & CEO Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation Cynthia Kurtz, President & CEO San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership MICHAEL E. MANCHAK President/CEO Economic Vitality Corporation of San Luis Obispo County Paul Granillo President & CEO Inland Empire Economic Partnership Barbara deBoom, President/CEO Palm Desert Area Chamber of Commerce Steve Diels President, Los Angeles Division, League of California Cities Council Member City of Redondo Beach Karen Engel Executive Director East Bay Economic Development Alliance Cynthia Murray President & CEO North Bay Leadership Council Randy Gordon President & CEO Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce Lucy Dunn President & CEO Orange County Business Council Bob Linscheid President & CEO San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Mark Cafferty President & CEO San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation Gary Toebben President & CEO Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce Roger Niello President & CEO Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce Ronald Kopf Executive Director Tuolumne County Business Council James Nagle President, Board of Directors Yosemite Chamber of Commerce
cc: Honorable Members of the California Appropriations Committee Senator Lois Wolk