SACRAMENTO -- The future of the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center's planned regional theater is now in the hands of a Superior Court judge.

Attorneys for the nonprofit and the state presented their cases Aug. 9 in a key lawsuit over more than $120 million in redevelopment funds.

During an hour-long hearing, Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Eugene Balonon listened to oral arguments from lawyers for the performing arts center and Deputy Attorney General Kari Krogseng, representing the state Department of Finance.

LVPAC is suing the Finance Department for the release of $122 million in future tax increments to help pay for its proposed 2,000-seat regional theater in downtown Livermore. The funding, the suit alleges, stems from agreements between LVPAC and Livermore's defunct redevelopment agency made prior to the state's dissolution of such agencies in 2012.

Last October, the Finance Department decided to deny any future tax increment money set aside for the theater project, stating that while Livermore did offer to take over responsibilities of the redevelopment agency, the "powers and duties" of the former RDAs could not transfer to the city.

Judge Balonon has up to 90 days from the date of the hearing to render a decision.

"We're optimistic, but who knows," said LVPAC executive director Len Alexander. "This has been dragging on for so long ... It's all up to him."

Alexander added it was "unlikely" the regional theater could be built without the tax increment money, unless one or more private donors fund the full cost of construction -- about $65 million.


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Contact Jeremy Thomas at 925-847-2184. Follow him at Twitter.com/jet_bang.