After Redevelopment, LA May Consolidate Economic Development Efforts

Now that the powerful Community Redevelopment Agency is dead, Los Angeles is considering consolidating economic development efforts, using new money that flows to the city post-redevelopment.

A consulting team has proposed a whole new post-redevelopment economic development structure for Los Angeles.

Unsurprisingly, the recently released report by HR&A — commissioned by L.A.’s chief administrative officer and chief legislative analyst — calls for the creation of a consolidated Economic Development Department. But if the proposal is adopted by the city, it would represent revolutionary change for a city that has long been characterized by a large, sluggish bureaucracy that has difficulty being nimble enough to compete on economic development.

Perhaps most interesting is how HR&A proposes to fund the new operation: With the money the city now receives in its general fund because redevelopment was killed. One oft-overlooked point about the end of redevelopment is that it created a “windfall,” if one might call it that, for city general funds. Redevelopment agencies typically received somewhere between 60% and 100% of property tax increment from inside redevelopment project areas. Now that the money is distributed to taxing agencies just like all other property tax money, cities are getting about 15% of it into their general funds.

California Planning & Development Report

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