Tracking code caldwell guardian

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Urban Renewal Legislation Doesn't Pass Muster

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.


  1. Just for fun I did a Google search of "who does the best job of urban renewal"? All I got was ticked off voters, fraud and waste complaints and other issues people were not happy with regarding urban renewal abuses of taxpayers.

    Even Portland Oregon and their perceived good UR efforts has issues with voters and taxpayers..

    Try the Google search and see what you get.

  2. To the Editor:

    The renovation of Caldwell needs to start with a changing of the Urban Renewal Board and the Caldwell Economic Development personnel. The Urban Renewal Board has doubled the taxes in downtown Caldwell by overpaying for the properties that they purchased to beautify the downtown areas. They have poured over five hundred thousand into Caldwell
    Economic Development. Where is the development? They have been supporting the YMCA to the tune of a million dollars a year because it is a non supporting operation. They also gave certain entities reduced membership dues at the YMCA. Had they followed the original plan that they spent four hundred thousand dollars for the Vineyard Suites Senior Citizen Dwelling would have been built in downtown Caldwell where it would have been more convenient for them to shop and would been good for the downtown merchants. Some Owners that have been downtown are in the process of trying to leave as they are losing revenue. The truth is that the Urban Renewal Board should have started their Catalyst eight years ago. I am afraid that the ship has left the dock and downtown Caldwell is sinking. I wish them good lick. Remember these were your tax dollars.

    D.L. Maitland
    2112 Ray Avenue
    Caldwell Idaho


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