The Downey Community Development Commission has approved an agreement to share with Los Angeles County property tax revenue from two new redevelopment areas.
The agreement affects a 305-acre addition to the city's redevelopment district along Firestone Boulevard, and the Woodruff Industrial Project, a 118-acre redevelopment zone straddling Woodruff Avenue on Downey's east side.
Under the agreement, the county will receive the same level of tax revenue it would have received if the redevelopment areas had not been formed. But the agreement also calls for the county to loan about $800,000 of its share of tax revenue to the city's redevelopment agency. The city is to repay the loan by the time the redevelopment zones expire. The districts were approved last July and remain in effect for 30 years.
The city estimates that the new redevelopment area along Firestone Boulevard will generate about $152.8 million, and the Woodruff zone will generate $43.7 million. Under the agreement the county is to receive about 42.8% of that revenue, while 37.2% will go to the city's Redevelopment Agency. The remaining 20% will be set aside by the county and city for low- and moderate-income housing as required by law.
When a redevelopment district is created, property taxes used to support traditional government services--including those provided by the county--are frozen. Additional tax revenue from increased property values is then diverted to the redevelopment agency to promote redevelopment.
The county sued Downey last month in Superior Court alleging that redevelopment zones were not needed because the areas are developing on their own. The lawsuits also said the county would have been forced to reduce public services because it would have lost revenue--its share of taxes from increased property values in the redevelopment zone.
The agreement is contingent upon the county dropping the lawsuits. Deputy County Counsel Paula A. Snyder could not be reached for comment. The county Board of Supervisors is tentatively scheduled to consider the agreement Oct. 20.