Friday, March 16, 2012 The CSAC Bulletin
Government Finance and Operations
For more information, please contact Geoffrey Neill at 916.650.8115.

Redevelopment

AB 1585 (Pérez) – Pending
As Amended on March 15, 2012

AB 1585, by Speaker John Pérez, would make a number of changes to the redevelopment dissolution process. The most significant change would be that affordable housing funds on deposit would be retained for affordable housing purposes, instead of used to pay obligations or distributed among taxing agencies. These funds would have to be under contract to be spent within two years, or else, absent a waiver, they would be transferred to another agency to spend on affordable housing. If no local housing authority took responsibility for the funds, they would be transferred to the state’s Housing and Community Development Department, who would then award competitive grants with the money.

The other changes AB 1585 would make, though not quite as significant, are still notable. Together, they amount to a significant easing of the strict process for winding down former RDAs’ finances. For example, AB 1585 would require oversight boards to approve repayment of many more loans from sponsoring agencies, and would require those repayments to be at reasonable interest rates. It would allow sponsoring agencies to reverse their decision not to be the successor agency. It would also broaden the costs allowed to be included as administrative costs, and give oversight boards limited authority to increase the money available to pay administrative costs.

Different counties will have different views on this significant legislation, but all counties should examine its impact on their own finances and operations and the process of unwinding redevelopment agencies within their boundaries.

The Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee passed AB 1585 at its hearing on Wednesday, March 14. The bill now moves to the Assembly Local Government Committee, which will consider it next Wednesday, March 21.


Taxes

SB 954 (Liu) – Support
As Amended on March 1, 2012


SB 954, by Senator Carol Liu, would allow the State Controller to, at the request of a county or city, offset any payments due to people from the unclaimed property held by the state in order to pay debts those people owe the county or city. This authority already exists for offsetting tax refunds and lottery winnings. The bill would provide an appeal process for people who believe the billing was in error. The Controller’s office estimates that this program would have recovered $3.5 million in 2010-11 had it been in place.

The Senate Governance and Finance Committee will consider SB 954 at its hearing next Wednesday, March 21.


Unattended Collection Boxes

AB 1978 (Galgiani) – Request for Comment
As Introduced on February 23, 2012

AB 1978, by Assembly Member Cathleen Galgiani, would require the signed consent of property owners before unattended collection boxes may be placed on their property. It would protect property owners who did not grant signed permission, as well as tow truck operators, from civil liability for removing unattended collection boxes.

CSAC would like to hear whether the regulation of these sorts of donation boxes is a priority for counties. Please send any comments to Geoffrey Neill.