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A Look at the Positive Side of Redevelopment

December 12, 1991

I read with keen interest your recent article "Fight Brews Over Cities' Tax Haul" (Times, Dec. 1). While the article discussed several aspects of redevelopment in California, I feel that it failed miserably in pointing out some very notable facts.

For example, one aspect of redevelopment that the counties and the press seem hesitant to point out is the fact that were it not for redevelopment agencies in certain areas, much development would never take place. And, what redevelopment means for counties and school districts, as well as cities is--money!

Tax revenues are derived from an increase in the assessed valuation of structures within the project area, and all taxing entities served by that project area benefit from the resultant increase in funds.

Agencies statewide are spending most of the funds that they receive in an effort to promote development, bring jobs to communities and provide for the infrastructure needs of the various communities. The money, in short, is not merely languishing in interest-bearing accounts for no apparent reason. It is being utilized to benefit communities, counties and the state.

It can be said that the results of redevelopment activities statewide have been impressive. Agencies have reported the creation of nearly 29,000 jobs and 29,615,847 square feet of new and rehabilitated buildings in fiscal 1989-90.

I might suggest that The Times investigate and report the positive side of local redevelopment activity, prior to assuming that redevelopment agencies are greedy, cash-rich entities which can withstand further reductions in revenues at the hands of the counties and the state.

In addition, I might add that a continued investigation into the County of Los Angeles' expenditures for executive bonuses, bogus car allowances, bulletproof vehicles and multimillion-dollar office remodeling projects would yield a more newsworthy set of stories regarding the expenditure of tax dollars and the establishment of public policy.

DENNIS McDONALD

Councilman,

City of Rosemead

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