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California Redevelopment Projects Brought Back?

One of the few good things to come out of the nation’s recent financial crisis was an end to wasteful “redevelopment” agencies in California that had for decades been violating property rights by abusing the power of eminent domain. Unfortunately, step-by-step, California legislators are intent on rolling back that victory.

Eminent domain is the government’s power to take land, homes, businesses or other property for public use, when the government pays the owner “just compensation.” In California, until 2012, the power was frequently used by local governments and state-subsidized “redevelopment agencies” to take property not to build a school, or a road or a firehouse — but merely to transfer the property from one owner to another private owner in the hope that the new owner would use the property in a way that would generate more taxes or jobs.

In 2012, facing a budget crisis, Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature dissolved the hundreds of state agencies responsible for ill-conceived redevelopment projects that created losses for the state. However, last year, California government officials lost their memory and enacted a new law that resuscitated redevelopment agencies with eminent domain authority.

Read the rest of the article at SanDiegoUnionTribune.com


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