February 12, 2011 3:00 PM
By Natasha Lindstrom and Brooke Edwards, Staff Writers

Local leaders are blasting accusations that redevelopment agencies are ineffective at spurring jobs and construction, as Gov. Jerry Brown pitches dismantling the agencies in his proposed state budget.

But with few requirements from the state to report what the five local agencies have done with the nearly $115 million in property tax increment they collected during the 2008-09 fiscal year and beyond, all but one local city is now scrambling to compile numbers to justify their existence.

Hesperia’s Redevelopment Agency collected $123 million in tax increment over five fiscal years, from July 2004 to June 2009. During that time, the city reported 1.2 million square feet of new development and 477 jobs that were spurred by the money.

However, the other four Victor Valley RDAs reported zero jobs and zero square footage of new property during that same time frame — though Victorville took in $38 million in tax increment and VVEDA received $175 million.

Ken Henderson, Apple Valley’s assistant town manager of economic development, said those reports do not accurately reflect RDA activity because communities haven’t been required to provide data on job creation and development to the state.

“To put the information out there that implies or explicitly states that redevelopment agencies have been investing billions of dollars without creating any jobs or new development is irresponsible,” Henderson said, frustrated that the state controller would include that data when RDAs aren’t required to track it.

For more about RDAs, read the full story in Sunday’s Press Dispatch. Get complete stories every day with the “exactly as printed” Daily Press E-edition, only $5 per month! Click here to try it free for 7 days. To subscribe to the Daily Press in print or online, call (760) 241-7755, 1-800-553-2006 or click here.