Tuesday, March 24, 2009
The following is taken from a legislative update from Rep. Robert Schaefer from Nampa:
"I have been critical of urban renewal districts for some time, so it should come as no surprise that I am supporting legislation to bring more accountability to those agencies.
The bill calls for oversight by the State Tax Commission and establishes certain guidelines for raising revenues. These changes are long overdue.
Regardless of intentions, the bottom line with urban renewal is money...specifically property tax dollars. That money is the only property tax revenue in Idaho that is spent by an unelected board not directly accountable to the public.
While the intent of the law is to promote economic development and fight blight, the current law opens the door to questionable practices and overt abuse.
There is room for a new law that promotes transparency withing bodies that can spend money freely and without input from the public."
Representative Schaefer is a long time Conservative Nampa Legislator and we hope this bill gains traction in this legislative session. Urban renewal abuse has become endemic in this valley.
Rep. Schaefer is keeping one eye on the horizon and one on the bottom line for all of us who are paying the bills.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 9:36 AM