Howard Terminal Replace: Heading for a Revitalization and Funding Company in Oakland

ONN – Howard Terminal Update: Towards an Oakland Community Revitalization and Investment Authority – Vlog by Zennie62 YouTube

Howard Terminal Update: Towards an Oakland Community Revitalization and Investment Agency

In the case of working with the Oakland A’s to develop the Oakland Athletics Howard Terminal Ballpark, the City of Oakland staff and consultants have advanced a collaborative investment approach called Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts (EIFDs). The problem with this approach, as has now been shown on numerous occasions, is that it does not generate the revenue necessary to pay for the community plan which has been in use for over a year. Obviously, EIFDs aren’t the best fit for Oakland, even though City Staff presents the approach as if it were the only option.

It is not. The California Community Revitalization and Investment Authority Act offers another option.

The law reads like this:

This bill would empower certain local authorities to establish a community revitalization agency (agency) within a community revitalization and investment area as defined to implement the provisions of the community redevelopment law in that area for purposes related to infrastructure, affordable housing and economic revitalization, among other things. The bill provides for the funding of these activities, among other things, through the issuance of bonds serviced by tax increases, and requires the authority to adopt a community revitalization plan for the community revitalization and investment area that includes descriptive and regulatory elements of revitalization activities. The draft law also provides for regular reviews of affordable housing by the agency, carried out as directed by the controller, and annual public reports by the agency, as well as regular procedures to take into account public protests.

The Law on Community Revitalization and Investment Authority came into force in 2015 and was called AB2280. According to the League of California Cities:

A) Community Revitalization and Investment Authorities (CRIA) Act, enacted by AB 2 (Alejo and E. Garcia, Chapter 319, Bylaws 2015) which approved the revitalization of disadvantaged communities through planning and funding for infrastructure improvements and upgrades; Economic development activities; and affordable housing through a tax increase financing, which is partly based on the former municipal renovation law. AB 24921 (Alejo and E. Garcia), Chapter 524, Articles of Association of 2016 made several additional improvements to the CRIA Act.

B) A CRIA is a public body separate from the city, county, or city and county that created it; and acts as an “agency” to receive the property tax increase under Article XVI, Section 16 (b) of the Constitution. Any tax authority within the area (with the exception of a school district) can allocate all or part of their share of the tax increase funds to the CRIA. The CRIA can issue bonds backed by additional income from property tax.

C) A Community Revitalization and Investment Authority (CRIA) can be set up in the following three locations:

1.Areas where at least 80% of the country has a combination of census districts or census block groups meet both of these conditions: (i) An annual median household income that is less than 80% of the national, city, or county annual income. The median income ; and (ii) three of the following four conditions:
2. Areas with an unemployment rate at least 3 percentage points above the national average for the annual unemployment rate.

3. Areas with crime rates at least 5 percent higher than the national average crime rate for violent or property crimes, as defined by the Department of Justice’s Criminal Justice Statistics Center, when data is available on the Attorney General’s web site.
4. Areas with deteriorated or inadequate infrastructure and ..
5. Dilapidated commercial or residential structures

The Oakland Plains qualify for designation by an Oakland Community Revitalization and Investment Authority. The OCRIA could designate more than one TIF zone, or, as we called them, project areas: in West Oakland, Howard Terminal, Chinatown, and East Oakland. And the beauty of it is that there is no legal limit on the use of TIF other than the guideline to build affordable housing as part of a plan. It’s similar to the old Oakland redevelopment agency.

This is something Oakland can do now: in fact, the Howard Terminal Community Meetings created the platform for the OCRIA to work there. Meanwhile, the OCRIA can also focus on West Oakland, Chinatown and East Oakland. TIF revenues can be split from one area to another TIF area as long as this is indicated in the plan.

The new OCRIA would also negotiate with the tax authorities and, unlike the Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts, could use the entire base year and increase tax revenue for the project area.

Stay tuned for more about this #Oakland #HowardTerminal

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