Tracking code caldwell guardian

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Team Garret and Caldwell Urban Renewal Are Raising Property Taxes Again

Team Garret and his merry men and women on the Caldwell Urban Renewal Board are going to ring in the new year with a plea to a judge to increase your property taxes next year to fund a $8.5 million building for TVCC. They are deeming this a "ordinary and necessary expense" for all of us to bear. The RAISE part comes from the easy pay part of their plan via tax anticipation bonding.

Property tax payers of Caldwell and all of Canyon County are going to get to fund two community colleges. There will be no voting on this so don't ask. Urban Renewal is once again abusing county property taxpayers without their permission.

All property taxpayers in Canyon County will fund this with their property taxes one way or another due to the funds siphoned off by urban renewal (increment taxes). It is a PONZI scheme most people do not understand. Urban renewal laws are quite simply a vehicle to circumvent the voters for big dollar spending projects. It's called THE PLAN.

In a discussion on Thursday (12-18) with the Mayor and the Finance Director, they want to keep the debt revenue ratio to 40% or less. This means they are comfortable borrwoing against 40% of anticipated property tax increment revenue for urban renewal projects. They are ready to leverage in the form of payments and carrying charges $2.4 million a year against the $6 million a year they already receive for Urban Renewal.

Urban renewal is funded with property taxes and not federal government money as most people would like to think. Urban renewal laws were set up by the state legislature to deal with urban blight. To date, very little of the urban renewal property taxes collected in Caldwell have gone to improve or renew blighted areas. Pork projects have dominated urban renewal spending. It is called "The Plan".

THE GUARDIAN learned today the City of Caldwell East Urban Renewal District is moving forward to issue $8.5 million in revenue bonds to fund TVCC in the Sky Ranch business park. This bonding will be in addition to $8 million in revenue bonds issued to subsidize water and sewer projects for developers. Bonds are like credit cards to these folks. Buy now and pay more later via the interst on the bonds.

The urban renewal board meeting will be this Thursday at 12:00 Noon at city hall to approve this next measure of property taxpayer abuse. The mayor and his finance director steadfastly have refused to put this up for a vote of the people.

The last meeting in early Dcember was attended by all the talking heads in favor of putting more debt on the already overburdened Caldwell and Canyon County property tax payers. It sparked a very enligtening editorial piece by the Idaho Press Tribune questioning why these matters are not put up for a vote of the people. This meeting will seal the deal and move it forward for a judge to approve their move without your approval. They are calling the TVCC project "ordinary and necessary". Most people paying their property taxes this week would disagree.

Urban renewal is the modern day equivalent of "TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION". And the bad news is most people have acquiesced in their opposition and rights to object to this abuse of taxpayers. State legislators know the abuses of urban renewal but continue to allow the abuses and pork spending of property tax dollars to continue.

See Don't Worry Be Happy Posting for Mayor Comments.


  1. mr. menchaca, plse . see to it that the mayor hears what i have to say as a new property owner of idaho who is enraged by his manner of dealing with the financial hardships that have plagued this city.i came to idaho to fulfill an american dream of owning my first home and to raise my family in a new environment. mr. mayor,i first met you at caldwell high school orientation as you spoke of how fotunate you were to have the entitlements of this city and that the kids needed to do their best and help the community & they would benefit. mayor, your time was totally DIFFERENT. have the wisdom to now know and see what these kids now face with the financial hardships at their door. MANY kids are obviously oblivious and nieve to the circumstances surrounding this $ crisis were in and only know and worry about what mom and dad are going to do to cope. it is very, very easy to spend and disperse guarnateed homeowners taxpayer $ and spend where you and the city council thinks it's needed. i find it very insulting as other individuals do who read that you are offering open public meetings with the city council but you offer them during times that no one can afford to take off of work so you leave us in a predicament of choosing ; well let me see? earn money for my family or take time off to express my feelings and opinion. this is a classic tactic of demonstrating appeal and open door policy with interest to the public but yet appearing to give only lip service for the public relations agenda and i truly get the sense that the local citizens opinions are not held in high regard when it comes to local matters for they present the hard core truth of what is happening locally and they speak of common sense resolution matters as opposed to the public servants in office who don't even live in the city's they govern or work for. every city is different in it's own regard and to think otherwise if blatant nieveness. in 2007 boises property taxes were skyrocketing out of control with no regard to retired homeowers on fixed incomes causing a personal crisis in home affordability on the basis of propety taxation burdened on the shoulders of those who did own their own homes [as i do now] and were forced to downgrade / sell/ or move out of state while those who rent have no liability in the property tax burden which is placed on the home/apartment owner who is then reluctant to raise his/her rent for fear of losing tenants and/or causing disruption to families. then their was st. alphonsus in boise laying off workers in march of this year due to low indigent $ reimbursement for treating many patients who had no insurance or who were her illegally. now look at mercy hospital and it's situation it is in now due to the economy. look at the thousands of jobs lost and the thousands of families who have applied for moratorium extensions thru idaho gas / power due to their inabiity to pay on time. look at the over crowded and closed homeless shelters around town. look at the unemployment trust fund dwindle as it nears bottoming out. a lot of us don't have the luxury of receiving a guaranteed paycheck from the government. a lot of us can't sit back and have the luxury to make careless mistakes and bad plannings and yet still escape accountability and disciplinary actions and still get paid by the government - there are 3 things we cannot escape from; death, taxes and illness. public servants will always have a revenue stream of tax dollars from all areas designated. i know that government agencies let people go too, but those turn out to later be determined that those position were non-essential and that with a little micromanaging and true cost analysis with a lot of budgeting sense corners can be smoothed out still and get the job done. this was just experienced by the new DOT director who says that her department will now perform "practical analysis" of projects rather than perform them in the conventional manner of " traditional project analysis" that cost more. this is another prime example of the lack of common sense from individuals who are placed in a position to handle millions of dollars in a manner they think is best for the citizens. granted that senior management entrusts their constituents to perform and carry out the needed tasks asked of them and to get the job done in an efficient and cost effective manner. but sometimes the senior management needs to get their hands and feet wet and get into the nitty-gritty of their own department- it shouldn't be all cushion and soft thinking that things are being done right. if the financial books are doctored and manipulation has taken place then this is where accountability and repremands need to be applied in order to weed out those who are wasteful of public funds regadless of tenor. a prime example of this was when the DOT director said in her july public meeting at the albertsons college of idaho that the DOT has had 12 audits already from numerous agencies regarding the GARVEE projects and still the governor was going to conduct his own audit costing the taxpayers $500k so he can determine if the DOT was managing properly. i expect more accountability and managing to be done with $ such as these just as i need to live within my means for my family. case in point; i detest the fact that the mayor and city council have appointed an urban renewal committee [urc] to determine what needs to be done within the city with tax payers [property owners] $. i see that the urc helped build the local ymca and helps with schools and irrigation projects by issuing bonds which are placed upon the city's property owners and to see the empty lots for the past 3months at the corners of hazel st & ash st across the st. from st. alphonsus group and to also see the urban district zone empty at the nampa costco center. all these projects started before this ecoomic downturn hit, or was it just poor planning and guess work on the part eljay waite who was gambling with our home values and fuzzy number projections. this is what i mean by true accountability with other peoples $. for the mayor and city council to want to try and shut out the citizens of this city from voting on bond measures as the state contstitution provides is a blatant disregard and respect to all citizens of this state [ this includes the teenage highschool students who are seeing their families dirupted by this financial crisis] of the rule of law the mayor swore to uphold alopng with the governor. and by the way the GARVEE program is NOT a guarantee of revenue to be given by the federal gov't. look it up- guess who will fit the bill for all the short falls from GARVEE ? the tax payers of this state not a surprise and for the government to anticipate that obama's economic plan will help generate millions of $ for idaho projects is another matter of concern becuase once again priority needs to be placed on immediate true necessity as opposed to future goals.
    for any one to say that any "Urban Renewal Committee/Agency" is a seperate entity and has no ability to raise city taxes truly thinks that we citizens are ignorant and dumbfounded. listen, don't think for a minute that we don't know what their true agenda is, to have the mayor and city council first create this agency with city employees sitting on this committee is a conflict of interest alone and to then have this agency decide where the greater good of developement will be and as to what extent with minimal resident citizens involvement.
    these URC/A essentially act like a "hit man" carrying out the role that the local government wishes not to take thus giving the URC/A the appearance that they are acting alone in their decision process which then allows them to generate so-called tax revenues to support the "city" approved projects which as of now demonstrates what can happen when they fail - bonds are issued which are now obligated and dedicated to the local home property tax payers on long term debt - the chameleon is not hard to see here.
    eljay waite had stated recently that he only had heard of 3 individuals who protested urban renewal developments- he should be more candid and show his true so -called qualified knowledge of local affairs by mentioning the present law suit pending regarding the "Treasure Valley Comm. College" [an out-of-state extension campus that has been forged with by a dictatorship of individuals who puposely by-passed once again the voting process,mandated by the idaho constitution]. placing the cart befor the horse in closed sessions. don't get me wrong - i beleive in higher education, just don't force me into paying for something i never had a say-so in while in dire-straits we face. even the unit rates will be out of reach for many students, along with books and supplie, who are residents. yes there is tuition assistance as always but to what extent on the taxpayers. and not all urban developements have generated revenue to sustain it's own. look at the idaho center it has failed to produce needed revenue streams since it's opening so many local burdened tax paying property
    owners have been bonded and are paying for this - how does this happen if the URC/A doesn't have the authority to issue bonds?
    mayor, you need to really take a step back and rather than ask the community to bare down and help each other out, just see how thinly spread we are already trying to make ends meet just for the basic living necessities. why don't you show the people of this city what approaches you can take by leaving the partisanship aside and crossing fences and lines to meet with the essential department heads such as; finance office, accessors office, DOT, canyon county commission, URC/A, and governor. we obviously see and even feel the slow down within our infrastructure so why not stop the unecessary planning and zoning for now and re-evaluate the alternative with a fresh mindset rather than being forced and pushed into a panic which then clouds the decision process in prioritizing.
    mayor, this is not only my opinion, it is also my craving for answers on all the issues i present. i am a very busy man doing what every working parent is trying to do, so if you truly intend to show this young generation to lead by example when the parents are in dire straits then give us all something to hang our hopes on. remember , you are in charge of our community that is ultimately run by your constituents if you say that we [citizens] are also in charge and should play a part in it's developement - then let us do so!
    i await your response to my points and issues raised and if you would like to contact me then please do so @ 714-705-5491
    and if am not available please leave me a detailed message . i would rather not play phone-tag as mr. eljay waite likes to play when
    i simply have asked him to respond to my matters of the same. i ask for your professional curteousy and response to my efforts to obtain an understanding. the time i have spent writing you this is time i hope will not have been spent in vain.

  2. "THE GUARDIAN learned today..."? Kinda late to the game, arn't you? After all, you were the one who posted about the first meeting about a month ago, but then didn't feel like making the meeting.

    It's reasonable enough to have concerns about taxation without representation, but if you don't SHOW UP at regularly scheduled public meetings to voice your concerns, kinda undercuts the urgency you profess to have on the issue. Blogs are great for free speech, but they're lousy for governing in a democracy - that actually takes engagement.

  3. Dear Anon..
    good point, but one can't be in two places at one time. Laws of physics etc. limit this ability. THE GUARDIAN was in Boise working on the appeal in the matter of the Nampa Urban Renewal decision the day you had your "open meeting" for comments on the Caldwell Urban Renewal bonding.

    You will have to give me an "excused absence". Keep Smilin...Paul

  4. We've been fighting this nonsense in Coeur d'Alene for two years now. Visit OpenCDA dot com to read more about our battles. At least you guys are facing public improvements. Up here, our LCDC spends public money to help big developers build their condos more cheaply. It's disgusting. My group is planning on more legislation in Boise next year to help curb this nonsense.



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