Tracking code caldwell guardian

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Guardian Opinion Of Urban Renewal Boards

The number one problem is urban renewal boards can spend our property tax money without our input or votes. That's the bottom line. It's taxation without representation.

Urban renewal (property tax increment financing) raises every one's property taxes and benefits only a few at the expense of the many in counties where they exit.

Our Idaho Constitution provides adequate means to finance long term debt via a vote of the people. Urban renewal laws circumvent our rights as voters to approve or deny long term debts, liabilities or obligations. (School Districts comply with this requirement every time the go to the voters with a bond or levy override election.)

All across the country, the new mantra of our elected elite is they know what's best for us and they operate best when we keep our meddlesome noses out of the government's business.

It is also about a lack of transparency and a built in disrespect for the public process. It's about creating a group of political insiders who ignore those who put them in office. They know best what is good for the rest of us. Urban renewal boards sit back and think of all the "good" they're creating by going around voters at every opportunity.

The reality of urban renewal is they're simply spending other people's money, which takes no talent or skill to accomplish. Their sole purpose is to spend dollars skimmed right off the top of all property taxes collected in the district.

Good things have happened via urban renewal but it all could have been done with a bond election and community consensus building. Over $6 million of property taxes in Caldwell go directly to Caldwell East Urban Renewal Agency each year.

1. UR Districts are not project specific
2. UR agencies last an excessive amount of time up to 24 yrs.
3. Board members are appointed by the Mayor with no term limits
4. Conflicts of interest
5. Taxpayer money is routinely given to privately owned assets and projects

1. Require all projects and plans to be specific with clear measurable goals
2. Limit district life to no more than 10 years.
3. Term limits for board members to no more than 4 years and rotate chairman every two years.
4. 80% of board members be required to reside within the UR district


  1. Is not what our local Urban Renewal Agency doing just another example of what our federal government is doing by taking ownership in banks, insurance companies, auto industry and mortagage finance? All of our elected officials need to be replaced with someone that remembers who they work for!



A public discourse on the issues of the day makes the world a better place.

We welcome comments but they will be moderated and edited if too long or do not have anything to do with the post.
Agree or disagree just do it without profanity or it won't get posted. Try to keep your comments to no more than 300 words. Too long and I will try to edit it down or simply delete the comment. The whole idea is to get people to read your comment. Don't use 10 words when one will do the job.

It's OK to have a difference of opinion but keep it civil. I have used the "delete" feature on myself at times.

The ANONYMOUS feature for comments seems to be the most user friendly. People have commented they have difficulty with the other methods of posting comments.