Audit Faults California Redevelopment Agencies

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SACRAMENTO (AP) – An audit by the state controller’s office has found that redevelopment agencies in California do not have a way to show how well they are fighting blight or creating jobs.

Controller John Chiang said the findings, released Monday, are troubling because redevelopment costs taxpayers $5.5 billion annually.

Gov. Jerry Brown wants to eliminate the state’s more than 400 redevelopment agencies to send more local tax money to schools, police, fire and other local services. Local governments are defending the agencies and say Brown’s plan is illegal.

The 18 agencies subject to the audit represent 16 percent of redevelopment dollars.

The review showed great differences in how cities define blight. Palm Desert, for example, used redevelopment money to renovate greens and bunkers at a 4.5 star golf resort.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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