State high court set to decide on redevelopment agencies

The future of San Francisco’s Redevelopment Agency, along with 400 others in the state, will be impacted by a ruling set to be released at 10 a.m. Thursday by the California Supreme Court.

At issue is the validity of two state bills aimed at forcing city and county redevelopment agencies to disband unless they “opt in” on a plan to obtain more local funding to make “payments” toward basic state services, including schools.

The agencies are charged with shepherding projects to revitalize blighted areas, but Gov. Jerry Brown vowed to ax them when he took office in January and said the state could save $1.7 billion in doing so. The California Redevelopment Association took the state to court over the bills, arguing that they violate voter-approved Proposition 22, which prohibits the state from raiding local budgets to solve its fiscal crisis.

No matter what Thursday’s ruling holds, San Francisco officials plan to keep redevelopment going in The City. That’s expected to cost $14.5 million in 2012 if the Supreme Court upholds the state’s ability to do away with the agencies.

dschreiber@sfexaminer.com

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