Merced city says state court decision will cost Merced residents $2.8M in redevelopment funds

The city of Merced said a recent court decision in Sacramento will cost Merced residents about $2.8 million in redevelopment funds this year that would have been used to improve the city, help businesses and provide jobs for the community.

The Sacramento County Superior Court approved taking $2.05 billion in funds from redevelopment agencies (RDA) throughout the state under Assembly Bill 4X26. The bill uses RDA funds to balance the state budget by transferring the money to the Supplemental Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund, the city said in a news release.

"The end result is the local redevelopment agencies end up paying the money that the state was supposed to pay to the school districts," Mayor Bill Spriggs said in the release."This means the Merced Redevelopment Agency won't have the money available to help improve the community and the lives of its residents.

"The $2.8 million in lost local money is only the beginning. Next year the state will steal another $700,000. And who knows what they will be taking in the years ahead. The Sacramento judge just handed the state the combination to the city's safe."

Since 1974, the Merced Redevelopment Agency has provided funding for a wide variety of projects in central and South Merced including Mainplace Merced Cinema, Merced Theatre, Rancho San Miguel, Safeway, Courtyard by Marriott, Merced Lofts, Sierra Meadows, the Mondo Building, Bob Hart Square, Merced Multicultural Arts Center, the Merced Senior and Community Center and the McCombs Youth Center.

Local redevelopment dollars have also been used for the Martin Luther King Jr. Way beautification project, the repaving project underway on 16th and G streets and for the G Street Undercrossing set to begin in July.

"We understand the state is in serious financial trouble," Spriggs said in the release. "But stealing from local government does not fix the fundamental financial problems facing the state.