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Saturday, November 7, 2009

How Much Does Caldwell Urban Renewal Cost All Of Us?

THE GUARDIAN asked Caldwell's Finance Director how much the impact of Urban Renewal has on all property taxes in Caldwell and got the following answer in December of 2008.

Caldwell property taxes are 22% higher in Caldwell and everyone in Canyon County pays 3.5% more due Caldwell East Urban Renewal Agency. The total amount all Caldwell citizens pay to subsidize Urban Renewal is 25.5%.

All county taxpayer's taxes are 3.5% higher due to Caldwell's Urban Renewal Agency. It is unknown how much more we all pay due to Nampa's Urban Renewal Agency. (Think taxation without representation here.)

When you get your property tax bills this month look at it as a 25.5% involuntary contribution to the urban renewal board to spend as they please with no voter oversight. Proponents would argue it gives the UR boards money to spend on capital projects for the community that would not otherwise get built.

To be sure, there are some worthwhile projects done by CEURA but there are projects that clearly should have voter oversight. Indian Creek got $8 million the YMCA got over $10 Million and continues to get $1 Million every year. Now TVCC, an Oregon base school for profit (they send $$325k/year back to Oregon from Caldwell Ops.)will be the benefactors of nearly $10 Million of Caldwell property tax dollars.

Caldwell currently has unemployment numbers well into double digits. The last numbers posted by the Department of Labor put us at 13% and climbing along with home foreclosures up well over 50% from last years numbers. The Politicos just can't understand why we don't want to pay more taxes for big dollar projects. Especially when we don't get vote on the project in question.

Meanwhile, the tax and spend crew continue to spend money like there is no tomorrow or day of accounting to the public for all the money they have spent with no voter oversight.

Team Garret was more than happy to let job producing big box stores skip over to Nampa and bypass Caldwell. One has to ask just how many jobs have been created with the money they have spent on the YMCA, Indian Creek and now TVCC. $30 Million for these three projects is not chump change for a community the size of Caldwell.

Stationary things have been taxed to the limits of most people's ability to pay. Is it any wonder people won't authorize a bond election for a new jail? The fluff projects have sucked us dry.

When you get your property tax bills this month please take note of how much lower they would be without Urban Renewal. $25.5% lower property taxes is not an insignificant amount of money to most folks who live in Caldwell. We doubt we will see lower property taxes when Urban Renewal expires in 2013.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe one should ask how much the city has spent for legal fees to fight Pioneer Irrigation. I understand that the number is around 1 million so far and if they go to court if will be another 400,000 and that court date is set for november 23rd and lets see if they win that battle and if they do was it worth the price tag that it has so far. If they lose no one knows how much the price tag will be. Maybe they should have sat down and tried to work out one of the solutions Pioneer offered. Think what they could have funded with those dollars instead of being so stubborn. Who is making them accountable for these dollars.


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