In Orange County, $2 billion in debts and loans from former redevelopment agencies have been quested by the State Department of Finance. Now, twelve of those cities are filing suits in court to halt some of the recent state raid.

The twelve cities have asked a Sacramento Superior Court to issue an injunction on the transfer of money. They go on to ask that any money that could cover a disputed claim beheld essentially in escrow, sequestered from the state’s general fund coffers.

However, the state says that sequestering the funds isn’t only uncalled for; it may be illegal. Funds that are adjudicated as being rightfully belonging to the cities could be returned in future payments. Instead, the Department of Finance has said that the cities are asking – in essence – that a year’s worth of payments be withheld for six months of revenues –depriving counties, schools, and special districts of funds that should go to them.

From the Orange County Register:

Twelve California cities, including Stanton and Huntington Beach, will be in Sacramento County Superior Court today asking for a temporary restraining order to keep the state from spending their former redevelopment dollars.

It’s the latest in a primal tug-of-war over what will eventually be some $5 billion a year.

Read the full article here.