State Can’t Take Goleta Money, Yet

Judge Rules Fate of Disputed $18 Million Must Wait Until Lawsuit is Heard

The $18 million in Redevelopment Agency funds that the state of California wants to take from the City of Goleta — which already used the money to pay for the San Jose Creek project — has to stay put for now, as a judge ruled that the state cannot take the money before the city’s lawsuit over the issue is heard in court. The dispute, which emerged in many cities statewide when Sacramento scrapped the decades-old redevelopment laws in 2011, is related to the timing of when the monies were used; the city believes they were used properly and on-time, while the state — which retroactively tried to claim such funds in 2012 when certain cities seemed to be using them on frivolous projects — thinks otherwise. Goleta City Attorney Tim Giles said that the Sacramento County Superior Court is “jammed” with these types of cases, but is “hoping that we can get a hearing date by mid-2014.”

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