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Redevelopment Plan Spending Is Reckless

July 31, 1994

* Oxnard is in the midst of spending a million or two preparing for adoption of a Redevelopment Project covering most of the city. By the time the plan is drawn, they may not have enough council members who can vote on the proposal. Currently, only two councilmen can vote on the matter because of conflicts of interest. One of those two is not running for reelection. Gambling with one or two million of our tax dollars that they will have to support after Nov. 8 is reckless.

I urged the council to stop the massive spending now and halt activity on the plan study until at least after the election.

Many of us question the value of the planned indebtedness of a redevelopment project. Statewide, only 22.3% of the tax increment is actually spent on projects. The rest of the money goes into debt servicing, interest on the loans, administration, consultants, etc. If they were to ask the people of Oxnard to approve a bond measure for the contemplated indebtedness of the redevelopment project, they know they would be turned down.

According to Bill Carlson, the state lobbyist for redevelopment agencies, the city would only get a share of the tax increment, and after the end of the project in 45 years. Without a project, a city would get its share of all tax increment for property transfers and development.

During my eight years on the City Council I found that there was very little development in the redevelopment project area during poor economic times, no matter how much we spent on incentives to encourage developers, so there was no increment.

How Oxnard spends our tax money and how it funnels future tax money is the concern of all of us. It is not just a neighborhood issue and needs to be discussed at City Council meetings with the public. I urge the City Council to stop the spending now and discuss these funding issues.

JANE TOLMACH

Oxnard

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