Town Square

$2 million 'ransom' for city to keep downtown tax district

Original post made on Aug 5, 2011

When City Council members return from summer break in September they will have to decide whether to pay $2 million a year to keep the downtown's redevelopment funding or be forced to turn over as much as $5 million a year in revenue to other local services.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, August 5, 2011, 10:57 AM


Posted by Ned, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 5, 2011 at 11:39 am

"In particular, the city could lose funding that council members say could help subsidize putting a grocery store downtown. The money is also used for events such as Thursday Night Live, recruiting businesses and acquiring and assembling properties for development, said Ellis Berns, the city's economic development director."

That's a strong enough argument to get rid of the agency.

Posted by Mike Laursen, a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 5, 2011 at 12:51 pm

There IS a grocery store downtown.

Posted by Money Usage, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 5, 2011 at 3:01 pm

I still haven't seen it specifically stated whether the redevelopment money goes to LOCAL schools, city, etc. OR, whether the money goes into a STATE pool for those items that then gets distributed around the state.

DeBolt's story seems to imply it would remain LOCAL, but can someone confirm that's the case.

Posted by Doug Pearson, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 5, 2011 at 9:51 pm

The article and Money Usage's question raise points I am interested in. The idea that the downtown redevelopment district is able to spend money for all the good things they talk about is fine, but where does the money come from?

In the absence of the district, would there simply be less money, i.e., is the money a special tax on downtown businesses that the businesses would no longer have to pay, over and above normal business and property taxes? (I don't think so!) Or is it, instead, a diversion of normal business and property taxes from state, school district and other coffers, which would be reversed in the absence of the district? (No wonder the state wants to shut down redevelopment districts!)

Posted by DCS, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 6, 2011 at 3:44 pm

The grocery store downtown does not have what I want, and I'm sure other people feel the same way.

It's smelly, dirty, and noisy in there too, not a pleasant experience.

Posted by Mike, a resident of another community
on Aug 7, 2011 at 12:48 pm

The downtown redevelopment district is a huge success, but its work is done and it is time to shut it down.

Posted by Mike Laursen, a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 7, 2011 at 8:37 pm

re: It's smelly, dirty, and noisy in there too, not a pleasant experience.

Somebody is shopping there. Is it the city government's job to go out and find competitor's for existing businesses?

Posted by Save schools and police, a resident of North Whisman
on Aug 8, 2011 at 3:49 pm

The real title of this article should be "A blessing of "Money" for local schools and police department".

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Aug 8, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Downtown has been up due to the face the RDA's, if it wasn't for this we would have a run down area. Yes the schools need money. We Prop 13, the grab of Sales Tax, DMV funds, all sorts of funds that were produced by the local goverement. In the future what else will they grab.

Posted by Linda Jahnke, a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 10, 2011 at 9:05 am

The city is right to plan for a grocery store in the downtown area. This is a densely packed community and should have access to local shopping. The current downtown ethic store can be a delight to shop in but is not an appropriate substitute. The same thing of course can be said for the Monta Loma area. A grocery store in the Rengstorff-Middlefield shopping center has been laying vacant for many years. The city should encourage local shopping wherever possible.