Wednesday, February 24, 2010
"A great civilization is not conquered from with-out until it has destroyed itself within. The essential causes of Rome's decline lay in her people. her morals, her class struggle, her failing trade. her bureaucratic despotism, her stifling taxes, her consuming wars."
Will Durant and his wife Ariel wrote the eleven book STORY OF CIVILIZATION. He was born in 1885 and died in 1981.
There are a lot of hardworking people in the Idaho Legislature but for the life of me I can not understand why an attorney for Capitol City Development was allowed to write an overhaul us the Urban Renewal Laws in Idaho. This is like the fox guarding the chickens. It is no secret THE GUARDIAN has issues with current UR laws. This new round of changes to the UR laws will further remove voter oversight of how your property tax dollars get spent by UR agencies.
The UR agencies want further reductions in voter oversights and a wider range of ability to spend you money without a bond election for big ticket projects. The bill now being considered is HB 567. We have to say it is under scrutiny but the lobby guys are working hard to get this one past the voters. Cities and UR agencies call it a "refinement of a tool for their tool box". We think of it as striping away your right to vote on debt that will be repaid with property taxes.
What needs to happen? A BLUE RIBBON panel needs to investigate and put together a benchmark package of best practices and law that will still allow for Urban Renewal to exist but with an independent elected board and voter oversight of big dollar projects. Blight removal and community safety issues are beneficial aspects of urban renewal but the big dollar legacy building projects sans voter approval are in juxtaposition to the Idaho Constitution. HB 567 is nowhere near what we need or want to protect Idaho property taxpayers rights.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 6:42 PM