Published: 18 October 2011 08:11 PM

SACRAMENTO — Riverside and San Bernardino counties have gotten behind a lawsuit seeking to overturn state legislation that would eliminate local redevelopment agencies as a way to save the state $1.7 billion.

“Redevelopment is one of the only games in town in terms of creating economic development opportunities,” Riverside County Redevelopment Agency Director Robert Field wrote in a friend-of-the-court filing, one of nine filed by lawsuit supporters before a Sept. 30 deadline.

Seven lawsuit opponents filed statements.

Redevelopment agencies receive a share of local property-tax revenue to help pay for projects. Proponents say the agencies are vital tools for cleaning up blight and other improvements, but critics call the programs a subsidy for well-connected developers that cost the state money.

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