Infrastructure Financing Districts (IFDs) has the potential to function as an innovative way for local communities to facilitate financing of common infrastructure, economic development, and community projects. Expanding IFDs to authorize traditional public works projects (highways, parking facilities, sewage treatment, flood management, parks, recreational facilities), rehabilitate existing facilities, and finance other sustainable community projects would give NELA communities an added funding mechanism to initiate high-priority economic development projects. Currently Assembly Bill (AB) 690 enables California cities to establish Jobs and Infrastructure Districts, which will provide incentives to the private sector to create new jobs and provide workforce training. California is one of only three states in the nation that does not currently utilize tax increment financing, broadly recognized as the standard financing tool for economic development.
We recommend that the City, along with Riverfront Collaborative stakeholders and relevant elected California officials within the Study Area, pass a Council Motion to support and advocate the guiding principles behind California Senate Bill (SB) 690. The Senate Bill focuses primarily on expanding the general framework of the existing IDFs statute, while extending the parameter to include public and private transactions that produce private sector jobs. Although the formation of an IFD can be cumbersome, its impact is significant. Once the City approves its use, there must be a 2/3-voter approval for the formation of an IFD or to issue bonds. With sufficient community support around a project with clear outcomes and benefits, this tool may be successful.