According to an article in the Californian, "Salinas mayor: Beat blight, grow tax base," the City of Salinas is slated to vote tonight on whether to expand three Salinas redevelopment zones. The city is considering such a move in order to grow property tax revenues as assessed property values in the area rise.
The Mayor of Salinas, Dennis Donohue, believes business created in the redevelopment zones could bring an influx of between $5 million and $15 million annually in sales and occupancy taxes. He is quoted as saying: "We have to expand our tax base, and this is a possible tool to do it." He goes on: "This is an opportunity to attract investment into the community and then take part of the tax base that's created, put it back in the community and create a cycle of growth."
Community members, on the other hand, are skeptical. The President of the Salinas United Business Association said certain areas hadn't benefited enough from the program's dollars, and other city council members believe too few projects have been completed.
A feasibility study commissioned by the city also recommends reinstituting the power of eminent domain for some of the redevelopment areas, which has not been allowed since 2003. Expansion of the zones' areas would require official blight findings and environmental reviews. If the city decides to go down that route, it better make sure its blight findings are sufficient so as to avoid having them struck down, as was recently the case with the City of Glendora.
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