Good news on redevelopment

California taxpayers and property owners received some wonderful news on Tuesday when, as the Sacramento Bee reported, “A Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled … that California can take $2.05 billion from redevelopment agencies … .” The article treats the decision as bad news and quotes California Redevelopment Association President John Shirey warning that if the decision stands it will be “the beginning of the end for redevelopment in California.” One can only hope so. Only two views are portrayed  — those who claim the state needs the cash and those who warn that taking away redevelopment money will impede the development of cities.

Actually, the state does need the cash and taking away redevelopment funds is good policy also. Redevelopment agencies are not responsible for fixing up cities. They often impede the natural, market-based redevelopment of cities by allowing city officials and favored, subsidized developers to call the shots. It is a heavy-handed authoritarian system that undermines property rights. CRA members are wanton abusers of eminent domain and have lobbied against sensible eminent-domain reforms.

Redevelopment is a means to shift development decisions from private property owners to the government. It provides corporate welfare to politically well-connected developers. It undermines freedom, enterprise and property rights. It shifts billions of dollars from traditional government services to corporate welfare and debt service. Good riddance to the money.

–Steven Greenhut

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  1. John Seiler
    John Seiler 6 May, 2010, 14:15

    And don’t forget Steve’s book on eminent domain abuse, “Abuse of Power,” which you can pick up on Amazon for $4.80 a used copy (as of May 6).

    — John Seiler

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