As San Pedro grows and evolves, so do our infrastructure needs. From roads in and out of Pedro, to the Vincent Thomas Bridge, to water and sewer systems, the demands of urban living require constant investment in critical infrastructure.
However, funding these projects can often be challenging, especially in a city like Los Angeles, with so many areas of need. That’s where Enhanced Infrastructure Funding Districts (EIFDs) come into play, providing a unique financing mechanism for local governments to meet their infrastructure needs and support economic development. This is not a new tax. It’s a means by which we can use existing tax growth to fund local projects.
EIFDs can be used for various projects, from basic road and infrastructure improvements to affordable housing. Streets, parks, open spaces, parking, utilities, and other public improvements can be funded through an EIFD. Housing for teachers, nonprofit service providers, police, and firefighters could be incentives to bring in more talent who live where they work. Improvements along Pacific Avenue to encourage small business investment could create transformational improvements along the corridor. There’s a host of different projects in San Pedro that could be funded with an EIFD; the best part is the community gets to decide.
One of the key features of EIFDs is their ability to capture and leverage future increases in property tax revenues within a designated area. Again, this is not a new tax. When an EIFD is established, the base year property tax revenue is identified. Any incremental increases in property tax revenues generated from new development or improvements within the district are captured and used to fund infrastructure projects that the San Pedro community determines are important.
Last year, in an economic development meeting at the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce, we discussed the possibility of creating a San Pedro EIFD to help fund some of the projects we believe San Pedro needs.
Business owners and community folks discussed some of the needs of San Pedro. A few of the needs we identified include affordable housing, public transportation, improvements to buildings used by businesses and nonprofits, streets and sidewalks, public parking, water/sewer/storm drains, public Wi-Fi and other utilities, and parks and open spaces, among others. There are several additional ideas the community may support, including the Warner Grand Theatre renovation, reconnecting Paseo Del Mar, or a small convention center.
EIFDs offer several benefits for urban development. Firstly, they provide a reliable and consistent funding source for infrastructure projects. By capturing future property tax revenues, EIFDs create a predictable revenue stream that can be used to finance long-term infrastructure investments and priority projects for the community.
Secondly, EIFDs offer flexibility and customization, allowing local communities to tailor financing plans to their specific needs and priorities. Depending on the state’s regulations, they can be established for different durations, ranging from 15 to 45 years. This stability in funding allows communities to plan and implement infrastructure projects more effectively, resulting in improved infrastructure and better quality of life for residents.
Additionally, a San Pedro EIFD could promote economic development and revitalization along Pacific. By financing infrastructure improvements, a San Pedro EIFD can help attract private investment, stimulate economic growth, and create jobs in our blighted areas of San Pedro. Funds can be used to support small businesses, childcare, façade improvements, and new construction for nonprofits and service providers.
EIFDs can also finance infrastructure that supports specific industries like tourism and entertainment or development priorities, such as technology hubs, renewable energy projects, or workforce housing initiatives, further promoting targeted economic growth.
One of the unique aspects of EIFDs is their ability to facilitate collaboration between the public and private sectors. Our city and county governments can partner with private entities to finance and implement infrastructure projects, leveraging their expertise, resources, and innovation to maximize the impact of limited public funds.
The One-Five (CD-15) is actively working to create the first EIFD here in San Pedro, with the support of the Chamber and our neighborhood councils. The next step is a full vote from the City Council. If approved, they will create a Public Financing Authority (PFA) to oversee an Infrastructure Financing Plan (IFP) as determined by the community.
My real estate team believes in “give where you live.” This initiative would allow San Pedro to “keep tax funds local,” help finance our priority projects, repair and upgrade infrastructure, and make improvements that San Pedrans value most. spt