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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Ugly Side of Caldwell and Nampa Urban Renewal (TANSTAAFL*)

THE GUARDIAN received this opinion and has posted it for your consideration. This is in response to the articles on Caldwell Urban Renewal and the OUR VIEW OPED pieces in the Sunday IPT.

Growth in Caldwell and Nampa has increased all taxable valuations which means there is more real estate at risk for fire, earthquakes,and other natural disasters. This means we will need more K-12 schools, police, fire protection, roads, water and sewer demands, and all the other city services supported by property taxes.

But Urban Renewal is preventing the cities of Caldwell, Nampa and Canyon County from receiving all property taxes levied that would ordianarily go to fund city and county services. The cities and county get only the taxable values of the properties on the books prior to the formation of urban renewal districts. Urban Renewal Boards get all incrementally increased taxes to spend as they see fit.

Who will pay for city and county services demanded by all this new growth? The obvious answer is poor families, the old lady on a fixed income, and the hard working middle class of Caldwell, Nampa and Canyon County. Taxes on all the appreciated values and improvements within the boundaries of the urban renewal district go directly to the Urban Renewal District.

Wouldn´t it be nice if Caldwell Nampa or Boise would give YOU the increased tax revenues on all the improvements to YOUR home (or neighborhood) simply because the taxable value has increased?

No argument about it; tax subsidized urban renewal projects increase all property values in a community, but all of it is on the backs of common folks.

Think of the house YOU could build if Caldwell and Nampa offered up land, water, sewer and street improvements and provided low cost financing etc. for a project you would like to do.

Urban Renewal stinks as it relates to average citizens and property taxpayers.

Also, most citizens don´t have the money and legal resources used by Caldwell, Nampa and Boise. They take your tax money to lobby the Idaho State Legislature and file¨"friend of the court" briefs like Boise CCDC did in Rexburg on a swimming pool project.

Where is the need for the city of Caldwell or the Urban Renewal District to be involved in providing a structure for TVCC solely at the expense of Caldwell property tax payers?

Lastly, there is the issue of conflict of interest on the TVCC project. It flies in the face of the voter approved College of Western Idaho.

*TANSTAAFL, "THERE AIN'T NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH" cited in most Econ. 101 classes.

1 comment:

  1. Remember there is no such thing as magic money and no free lunch, someone always pays the tab. There is no federal money streaming in to cover this deal. Guarantees cost and the taxpayers will pay the bill. You can play hid the ball all you want but the money is coming from somewhere. The contractors are not at risk for one dime and are not in it for the good of the taxpayers, they want to make money and well they should. They can smell the sweet deal when one comes along.


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