Denounced by one property owner as a “communist land grab,” a bill is advancing in the California Legislature that would allow local governments to spend tax money to seize land from residents and provide it at a discount to private developers.
Dubbed by some as the “son of redevelopment,” SB 1 would replace redevelopment project areas disbanded more than a year ago with new Sustainable Communities Investment Areas.
The establishment of the areas would allow local officials to use money from the growth in property tax revenue, bonded indebtedness and powers of eminent domain to take properties from some and give them to others for economic development. Unlike the old redevelopment areas, government officials would not have to show that an area is blighted to be targeted.
“There is a big void without redevelopment,” Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg told an Assembly committee Wednesday. The panel approved his bill, which he said “is good for jobs and its good for the environment.”