Alameda Point Community News Project: On Point: Little-used districts seen as solution for shuttered bases, April 20, 2012


City leaders eager to move forward with plans to revitalize Alameda Point are pinning their hopes on new legislation that could allow them to use future property tax dollars to pay for roads, schools and other new public facilities at the Point and other defunct military bases.

A bill from Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, would allow California base reuse authorities to set up special infrastructure financing districts to rejuvenate shuttered bases. It’s one of a host of bills aimed at restoring locals’ ability to redevelop blighted properties and to use future property tax money to pay for affordable housing following the demise of the state’s redevelopment programs.

The city is facing an estimated $600 million tab for new public facilities at Alameda Point, close to a third of which city staffers had planned to cover using future property tax dollars when redevelopment agencies still existed. But the elimination of redevelopment programs in February took away local agencies’ power to divert property taxes to fund those costs.

“We need something to get going. It’s very likely that if we don’t have something like this, we can’t move forward,” said Jennifer Ott, chief operating officer of Alameda Point.