Huntington Beach will have to cut $1.9 million from its redevelopment budget following a decision by the state to shift property tax revenues to fund education.
The cuts will halt projects in the downtown area, including pier lighting upgrades and repairs to alleys, curbs and gutters at Sixth Street and North Walnut Avenue, according to City Administrator Fred Wilson. The agency will also have to scrap plans for a loan/grant program to assist with facade improvements in some areas of the city, Wilson said.
The shift is mandated under state requirements regarding “educational revenue augmentation funds.” The shift allocates responsibility for education onto cities, and takes a portion of their property tax revenues. The difference in this fiscal year is the state decided to dip into cities’ redevelopment agency revenues, according to a League of California Cities fact sheet
Wilson called the changes “last minute adjustments” by the state.
The city’s first time homebuyers program will also be cut in half, Wilson said. Instead of $1 million in available assistance, homebuyers will have only $500,000 to draw from. Last year, the agency was able to assist 16 families in purchasing homes. Wilson estimates that this year the agency will be able to help six to eight families.
— ADAM ELMAHREK