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What is a “Redevelopment Authority” in Alabama?

You may have seen how the face of your downtown area has been improving? Alabama law allows Cities to create a public corporation for the purpose of revitalizing a downtown area. That entity is a Redevelopment Authority. Some call that entity the “RDA”. Many areas of the State have taken advantage of this valuable tool to benefit both local business and local government alike.

That public corporation can do most of the things a private corporation can do, but the RDA legal authority and tax exempt status is legally limited to a certain downtown district within the city. That legal authority, however, is quite strong when it comes to helping a struggling downtown area improve its look and to recruit business and activity.

The primary purpose in having a Redevelopment Authority is to assist both the City and its citizens in redeveloping a downtown area into a strong vibrant business community that benefits the lives of the citizens in a relevant way. The methods that a RDA can use to assist are many, and either an established business or a start-up business can take advantage of such tools. The RDA law provides one of the very few ways that a City can provide a direct benefit to a private company. It’s basically a public-private partnership to improve the downtown area, tax dollars are actually put directly back into a community, and everyone wins.

Every Alabama resident should determine if their home town has a RDA. If not, maybe it’s worthy of creating; if so, attend the monthly meetings. In this lawyer’s option, the RDA is one of the best moves by a City Council with a struggling downtown area. Through this entity, government is actually empowered to provide real assistance to the people and their community, and the local economy will benefit as a result.

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