Redevelopment efforts in San Jose are benefiting private business interests at a cost to county social services, Santa Clara County officials are arguing this week.

In a 17-page letter to the San Jose City Council, County Executive Richard Wittenberg and County Counsel Ann Ravel say the city will violate state law by extending redevelopment into six neighborhood retail districts. The council is scheduled to put the extension into effect on Tuesday under redevelopment law, which allows the city to use tax dollars in blighted areas to condemn property and provide developers with land to build modern commercial or housing projects.

Wittenberg and Ravel say the six districts, totaling 60 acres, do not meet the legal definition of blight. The two are also attacking San Jose’s plan to next year declare another 9,500 acres blighted and thus eligible for redevelopment.

The letter also claims that tax dollars earmarked for social services will be spent on the retail redevelopment, and that the county is taking property-tax revenue from its red-hot northern industrial area at the cost of county needs.

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