California’s 1940s-era urban-renewal policy, “redevelopment,” is coming back, which means property rights are bound to suffer. As Steven Greenhut explains, the redevelopment law was designed to revive inner-city neighborhoods by giving city planners extra powers to invest tax dollars and direct development decisions in areas that were deemed to be blighted. But it morphed into a financial sleight of hand, whereby officials subsidized auto malls and hotels to divert tax revenues that would go elsewhere.
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