California audits redevelopment agencies
January 25, 2011
California auditors plan to examine the books of local redevelopment agencies charged with improving blight. [LATimes]
Gov. Jerry Brown wants to use the billions in taxpayer monies spent on redevelopment agencies to pay for schools and basic services.
The state plans to examine the books of 18 state redevelopment agencies to see how officials have been spending the billions of taxpayer dollars they take in each year to improve blight, state Controller John Chiang announced Monday.
“The heated debate over whether redevelopment agencies are the engines of local economic and job growth or are simply scams providing windfalls to political cronies at the expense of public services has largely been based on anecdotal evidence,” Chiang said. “As lawmakers deliberate the Governor’s proposal to close RDAs and divert those funds to local schools and public safety agencies, I believe it is important to provide factual, empirical information about how these agencies perform and what they bring to the communities they serve.”
The cost of funding the state’s 400 redevelopment agencies runs more than $5 billion per year.