Mayor Marsha McLean voiced her continual support for California enterprise zones and redevelopment agencies at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
As part of his proposed state budget, released Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown hopes to eliminate enterprise zones and redevelopment agencies in an effort to save the sate $924 million and $1.7 billion, respectively.
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McLean, however, suggested the Governor look to other options to close the state’s $25 billion deficit.
“We need to fight this,” she said. “Our city has consistently operated in the black. Dollars in revitalization funding help businesses in older establishments remain viable.”
McLean said her support for redevelopment agencies echoed the sentiments of the Southern California Association of Governments.
Redevelopment agencies are funded by state property taxes and are designed to help local governments revitalize blighted neighborhoods. The Santa Clarita Redevelopment Agency currently utilizes some of this funding on properties generally along Lyons Avenue, Railroad Avenue and Newhall Avenue.
McLean also noted the success of enterprise zones in the Santa Clarita Valley. On December 15, the California Department of Housing and Community Development announced the valley would receive an expanded enterprise zone in 2011 that would combine the city’s existing zone with selected areas in unincorporated Santa Clarita Valley. This extends the city’s zone benefits until 2026 and adds approximately 6,000 acres to qualifying area in the valley.
“Our enterprise zones have been a tremendous boon,” said McLean. “(Brown) wants to abolish those as well. We know the budget has to be balanced but this isn’t the way to go.”