By Jim Steinberg, Staff Writer
Posted: 03/28/2012 07:50:12 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO – The agency formed to revive the former Norton Air Force Base plans to file a lawsuit next week to keep from falling under the clutches of the state law that has dissolved more than 400 municipal redevelopment agencies across California.

The Inland Valley Development Agency will ask a state court judge next week for an injunction to shield it from the effects of ABx1 26, the law which abolished redevelopment agencies and requires them create oversight boards to proceed with the liquidation of assets, Tim Sabo, attorney for the agency’s board, said Wednesday.

The agency is not under threat of liquidation, but its independent redevelopment powers are in jeopardy, said A.J. Walker, interim executive director said in an interview.

During a regularly scheduled meeting, the board approved a measure authorizing certain appointments to an oversight board, which may be required under ABx1 26.

Sabo said, in an interview after the meeting, that the legislative act which created municipal redevelopment agencies is different from the enabling legislation creating the IVDA in 1990. Therefore, the the IVDA should be immune to last year’s state Supreme Court ruling which upheld the state’s right to dissolve local economic development agencies.

Potentially millions of dollars a year are at stake, Wilson said.

Sabo said state finance representatives maintain that since the IVDA uses tax increment financing as a tool, as did municipal redevelopment agencies, it is subject to the act.

“We haven’t been able to get to someone high enough (to reverse that stance),” Sabo said.

Sabo said the agency’s position is that if the state intended to sweep it into the same net as city RDAs, then the language of ABx1 26 would have referenced the act which created the IVDA.

“If it walks like a duck, then it must be a duck” is the state’s attitude, Sabo said.

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