Critics of Urban Renewal in Idaho have left their collective mark with the members of the House Revenue and Taxation Committee, sub committee. Nearly a week of testimony and review of proposals for changes to the draft legislation submitted by UR agency representatives and lawyers, the laws as submitted will more than likely be up for a complete rewrite of HB 567. This bill and other UR legislation was fraught with all manner of efforts to remove voter oversight of these agencies.
Critics cite a lack of public oversight of how UR agencies use property tax revenue. Testimony, emails and contacts made to legislators about how UR agencies operate by critics made their mark with the committee.
Proponents don't want any ability of voters to undermine the UR agencies ability to spend our money as they see fit for economic development and improving blighted areas. The first blush of this legislation was drafted by what we like to call the fox in the hen house and would have limited any voter oversight of big dollar projects in their communities. The draft legislation would have virtually eliminated any future need for bond elections or voter oversight of these agencies.
Lawmakers will now draft a new bill for consideration. More on this as it becomes available.