A proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown to kill California‘s redevelopment agencies could also end up killing a proposed new ballpark for the Tucson Padres (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) in Escondido, as the state grapples with a crippling financial crisis and casting for ways to close a budget deficit.
The proposal would close all 425 city and county redevelopment agencies and shift their revenues to schools and city governments, presumably to be used to deliver basic services. The development agencies work in basically the same way: they use tax-increment financing to finance development, with future development funds used to back bonds for new projects.
And it is tax-increment financing envisioned to finance a new ballpark for the former Portland Beavers, playing this season and next in Tucson. Though T-Pods ownership in the form of Jeff Moorad and crew did come to a memo of understanding with the Council on the finances of a new ballpark, it was not close to a final agreement: it specifically directed city workers to a proposed contract as a “template” for further negotiations.
The proposal by Brown is not final, and it’s sure to be opposed by most city governments. But the state of California is in some serious, serious financial straits, and it’s not as though this move wasn’t telegraphed last year: in July we wrote “the state has the right to seize these funds to balance the state budget.” in a warning about the speculative quality of the financing.
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