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San Jose Mayor Accuses Gov. Of Illegal Money Grab

OAKLAND (KCBS) – The mayors of California's 10 largest cities have issued a statement protesting the governor signing bills to eliminate redevelopment funds, which would take $1.7 billion from local governments.

Redevelopment agencies, which were created in 1945, have long been used by cities to eliminate blight.

"They took $62 million from us last year, they took $13 million from us in May of this year, and now they're proposing to take everything that's left in the redevelopment agencies," said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed. "This means we're not going to be able to continue on with our 'Strong Neighborhoods Initiative,' which is funding that eliminates blight in our neighborhoods."

Reed said that San Jose will be a party to a suit that is soon to be filed by the California Redevelopment Association and the California League of Cities, contending that the state's action is unconstitutional.

"The California Constitution protects local revenues from state takeaways. That was put in the constitution by the people of California last fall under Proposition 22. It says 'you can't take our money,' and the state's now taking our money," said Reed.

The mayors of San Francisco and Oakland are also questioning the legality of the state's action.

KCBS' Mike Colgan Reports:

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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