The main steps in the RDA dissolution process are:
1. RDAs prepare to be dissolved.
The dissolution process began the moment that ABx1 26 was signed into law on June 2011. It imposed an immediate freeze on RDAs’ authority to incur new debt, make new loans or grants, enter into new or amend existing contracts, acquire or dispose of assets, and alter redevelopment plans. The goal was to prevent RDAs from entering into any new obligations that might further divert property tax revenue from the existing entities.
In addition, RDAs were directed to prepare an EOPS delineating the payments they were obligated to make through December 31, 2011. The RDAs were permitted to pay only the financial obligations listed on the EOPS during the period between the enactment of ABx1 26 and the date the RDAs were dissolved. The RDAs were required to post the ROPS on their website and send copies to the state Department of Finance, the State Controller’s Office and the County Auditor-Controller of its county. This was the first step in attempting to gain an understanding of the amount of outstanding obligations that would need to be paid before funds could be transferred to the taxing entities.
2. RDAs dissolve and their assets and liabilities are transferred to Successor Agencies.
As a result of the California Supreme Court’s Matosantos decision, all RDAs were dissolved on February 1, 2012. Upon dissolution of the RDAs, Successor Agencies were created to receive the assets and liabilities of the former RDAs. The Successor Agency manages redevelopment projects that are currently underway, makes payments listed on the EOPS (and later, only those listed on the ROPS), and disposes of redevelopment assets and properties as directed by the Oversight Boards. Only obligations listed on the EOPS can be paid until the ROPS is approved.
3. Successor Agencies prepare the first Recognized Obligation Schedule (ROPS).
The Successor Agency is responsible for drafting an initial ROPS that lists the enforceable obligations that must be paid through June 30, 2012, and the source of funds for the payments. The draft ROPS was to be completed by March 1, 2012 and a final ROPS should be submitted to the Department of Finance and the State Controller’s Office by April 15, 2012. The ROPS is not deemed valid until it has been certified by an independent external auditor, approved by the Oversight Board, provided to the County Auditor-Controller, the state Department of Finance, the State Controller’s Office and posted on the Successor Agency’s website.
4. Oversight Boards are formed and review the ROPS.
The various appointing authorities must submit the names of their appointments to the Oversight Boards for each Successor Agency to the Department of Finance by May 1, 2012. Certain actions of the Successor Agency require Oversight Board approval. The Oversight Board is required to direct the Successor Agency to take certain actions to wind-down the affairs of the former RDA. In turn, the state Department of Finance may review the actions of the Oversight Board.
The Oversight Board is also responsible for approving the ROPS. Under the implementation schedule ordered by the California Supreme Court, the deadline for submitting the first approved ROPS to the Department of Finance was April 15, 2012. The first ROPS lists the enforceable obligations spanning February 1, 2012 to June 30, 2012. The ROPS will supersede the EOPS upon approval. Starting on May 1, 2012, a Successor Agency may only pay obligations listed on the approved ROPS.
Because of the implementation delays caused by the litigation over the RDA dissolution legislation, shortly after approving the first ROPS, the Oversight Board will be asked to consider a second ROPS. This ROPS will cover enforceable obligations coming due during the period spanning July 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012. The County Auditor-Controller has requested that Successor Agencies submit this second ROPS to the Auditor-Controller and Oversight Boards by April 15, 2012. The Auditor-Controller has also requested that Oversight Boards complete their review and submit the second ROPS to their office and the Department of Finance by April 27, 2012. Adhering o this timeline is critical in order for the County Auditor-Controller to distribute property tax funds to the Successor Agencies by June 1, 2012, as mandated by the legislation.
5. The County Auditor-Controller administers the Redevelopment Property Tax Trust Fund, audits the former RDA, and certifies that first ROPS.
A Redevelopment Property Tax Trust Fund (RPTTF) was created upon dissolution of each RDA. Money that the former RDA would have received as tax increment is deposited into the RPTTF. The Fund is used to service the former RDA’s debt obligations, make payments to taxing entities under existing “pass-through agreements”, pay enforceable obligations, and pay administrative costs. The County Auditor-Controller administers the RPTTF and distributes any remaining monies to local taxing entities.
The Auditor-Controller is also responsible for completing an Agreed Upon Audit Procedures (AUP) Engagement of the former RDA. The Engagement will require the Auditor-Controller to compile a list of the RDA’s assets and liabilities and certify the ROPS. The AUP report and the certification of the ROPS must be completed by July 1, 2012, with a report submitted to the State Controller’s Office by July 15, 2012.
Note that the sequencing of the Auditor-Controller’s AUP report of the former RDA and certification of the ROPS is out of step with the timing for Oversight Board approval of the ROPS. The AUP report and certification of the ROPS is not likely to be completed before the Oversight Board begins to review the first or second ROPS. Therefore, the Oversight Board may be reviewing the ROPS without the benefit of the County Auditor-Controller’s report or certification.
6. Ongoing wind-down of RDA activities, disposition of assets.
After the initial ROPS is approved, the Successor Agencies will prepare and the Oversight Boards will review subsequent forward-looking ROPS that will list the obligations for the next six-month period.
The Auditor-Controller will make semi-annual distributions to the Successor Agencies based on the ROPS approved by the Oversight Boards and the Department of Finance. On June 1 of every year, the Auditor-Controller will distribute funds to Successor Agencies to cover the ROPS from July 1 to December 31 of that year. Every January 16, the Auditor-Controller will distribute funds to Successor Agencies to cover the ROPS from January 1 to June 30 of that year.
The Successor Agencies will continue to prepare enforceable obligations, wind-down the activities of the former RDA, and dispose of the former RDAs assets at the direction of the Oversight Board.
7. Ongoing review by Oversight Board and the Department of Finance.
The Oversight Boards will continue to review certain actions of the Successor Agencies, approve semi-annual ROPS, and direct the Successor Agencies in the disposition of the former RDA’s assets. The Oversight Board’s actions will continue to be subject to review by the Department of Finance. Ultimately, on July 1, 2016, all the Oversight Boards in a given county are to be consolidated into one county-wide Oversight Board. In the case of Fresno County, 16 separate Oversight Boards will be consolidated into one.