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As fellow Democrats at the Capitol take aim at local redevelopment agencies as a way to close the state budget gap and send more money to local governments, State Controller John Chiang today launched a review of 18 agencies, including Sacramento County's.

Chiang said the review would find out how the agencies are using their money -- property taxes shifted from schools, special districts, counties and cities. Specifically, the review will determine how much the agencies spend on low- and moderate-income housing. State law requires the agencies to set aside part of their funds for such projects.

Chiang will also look at the salaries of redevelopment agency officials and how each agency determines which properties within their jurisdictions qualify as "blighted" and thus available to be included in a redevelopment area.

"The heated debate over whether RDAs are the engines of local economic and job growth or are simply scams providing windfalls to political cronies at the expense of public services has largely been based on anecdotal evidence," Chiang said in a statement. "As lawmakers deliberate the Governor's proposal to close RDAs and divert those funds to local schools and public safety agencies, I believe it is important to provide factual, empirical information about how these agencies perform and what they bring to the communities they serve."

Here are the 18 agencies Chiang will review:

• Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Jose (Santa Clara County)

• Redevelopment Agency for the County of Riverside

• Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (Los Angeles County)

• Richmond Redevelopment Agency (Contra Costa County)

• Redevelopment Agency of the County of Sacramento

• Redevelopment Agency of the City of Pittsburg (Contra Costa County)

• Redevelopment Agency of the City of Fremont (Alameda County)

• Pasadena Community Development Commission (Los Angeles County)

• Redevelopment Agency of the City of Fresno (Fresno County)

• City of Palm Desert Redevelopment Agency (Riverside County)

• Placentia Redevelopment Agency (Orange County)

• Parlier Redevelopment Agency (Fresno County)

• Hercules Redevelopment Agency (Contra Costa County)

• Anderson Redevelopment Agency (Shasta County)

• Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Citrus Heights (Sacramento County)

• Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Calexico (Imperial County)

• Community Development Agency of the City of Coronado (San Diego County)

• City of Desert Hot Springs Redevelopment Agency (Riverside County)


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