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What is Tax Increment?

The California Community Redevelopment Law provides redevelopment agencies with a method of obtaining funds called Tax Increment Financing.

Here's how it works:

  • In the year the Redevelopment Project Area is adopted, the total property tax value within the Project Area is established as the base year value.
  • Over the life of the Redevelopment Agency, the base year taxes continue to be distributed to the taxing agencies on the tax role in the same proportion as in "pre-redevelopment" years.
  • Any increase in property tax revenue (above the base year value) generated within the Project Area is redirected to the redevelopment agency.
  • These funds are called Tax Increment and they are available for re-investment in the project area and may be used to pay off any debt created in implementing the Redevelopment Plan.
  • The Agency is required by law to set aside 20% of the total annual Tax Increment for affordable housing projects.
  • Tax Increment does not create new taxes; it simply redistributes the growth in the annual tax base.
Usually, the flow of Tax Increment to the Agency will not be sufficient in itself to finance the full scope of redevelopment activities and development projects. Therefore, agencies issue bonds to capitalize the Tax Increment. These bonds are not a debt of the City or County and are repaid solely from Tax Increment revenues.

In the Central City Redevelopment Project Area, Tax Increment of $12.1 million is expected to be available for FY 2002-03. This revenue is used to pay the Agency's operating expenses, service the Agency's debt and fund Agency projects and programs (current budget information). Tax Increment can only be used to finance projects within the Redevelopment Project Area, except when they are applied toward Affordable Housing Projects, in which case they can typically be used citywide.