The state Supreme Court ruling eliminating redevelopment agencies will have a big impact in Industry, much of which has been built with redevelopment money. Auto dealerships, such as Industry Auto Mall, shown above, are a major source of revenue and jobs. (Photo by Keith Durflinger / San Gabriel Valley Tribune Staff Photographer)
INDUSTRY - Thursday's California Supreme Court decision allowing state to wipe out redevelopment agencies could have a $250 million impact on the San Gabriel Valley's least populous city.
For years, Industry, population 219, has used its redevelopment agency to buy property all over the city. The Industry Urban-Development Agency had $257 million in equity at the end of fiscal year 2009-2010, which is the most recent year with complete financial records at the State Controller's Office.
That same year the city raked in $95 million in tax increment funds.
Industry currently has at least eight redevelopment agency deals in the works, including several to help food companies expand, said Mayor Dave Perez.
Perez wondered how the city should proceed.
"That's the quagmire and that's what's got everybody confused," he said.
Redevelopment agencies are created when a city declares an area blighted. After the declaration, cities are able to keep most of any increase in property tax money from the blighted area. In theory, the increased taxes, referred to as tax increment, are then plowed back into the area to spur development.
Most of Industry is included in one of four project areas, according to state records.

Municipal Attorney James Markman, who represents several local municipalities on redevelopment matters, said that the Industry Urban-Development Agency and agencies across the state hypothetically will have to sell all their property.
"Their job will be to sell off the proceeds and give it to the state of California," he said.
He criticized the court for not explaining how cities are supposed to unwind their redevelopment agencies.
"It's glossed over," he said. "There's really nothing on it."
Pasadena Attorney Chris Sutton, who specializes in fighting local governments, said Industry will be turned on its ear by the Supreme Court decision.
"What will poor Ed Roski Jr. do?" he said, referring to Roski's hopes of attracting a National Football League team and building a stadium on the eastern side of the city.
The nearly 600-acre site of the proposed stadium is owned by the Industry Urban-Development Agency. The city leased the property to a company controlled by Roski's Majestic Realty Co. in exchange for half the profits from parts of the stadium development.
Industry also has used its redevelopment agency to assemble the Puente Hills auto mall and to help businesses expand and relocate.
Perez said he figures the state Legislature will work out a deal to give cities financial flexibility.
"I think the state made a decision of passion and I don't think they thought it through," he said.
Cities will mobilize and try to craft new legislation, he said.
The agencies create union jobs and have been used to revitalize downtowns all over Southern California, he said.

"I look at this as an opportunity to reinvent ourselves," he said.