Tracking code caldwell guardian

Friday, August 13, 2010

Meet Here If You Think Urban Renewal Is Screwed Up!

Caldwell East Urban Renewal Agency met on the first Tuesday of July 2010 and agreed to purchase all the equipment for a coffee shop in the new TVCC Caldwell building at taxpayer expense for $36,000.00.  They have a hand picked operator they will install to run the place.  The operation will be handed over to this operator at no charge.  How can local food service operations compete with this?

TVCC was sold to citizens of Caldwell as a catalyst to revitalize downtown and to bring much needed foot traffic to downtown businesses.  How can downtown food service operations compete with a sweetheart deal granted to the coffee shop paid for by taxpayers? 

TVCC is getting a sweet deal as well.  They are getting a brand new Class A space and a million bucks worth of furnishings for a mere $5/sqft annual lease.  The coffee shop operator will pay a percentage of profits as his rent.  Meanwhile, Caldwell property taxpayers will have shelled out over $15 million for this project.  This total does not take in the parking lots removed from public use for TVCC students.

All of the new parking west of the train depot will be reserved for TVCC student parking along with a new parking lot in front of the Caldwell facility.  How they expect to enforce this restriction on local residents and shoppers downtown remains to be seen. 

Business and commercial property taxpayers saw a four fold increase in their property taxes last year due to urban renewal purchases of property.  An angry mob of business owners gathered at the library to hear CEURA purchases of property in downtown Caldwell was the reason property values and assessments went up so much from our County Assessor.  Mayor Nancolas expressed total surprise at this turn of events for business owners.

Urban Renewal has done little for existing businesses in downtown Caldwell but have set TVCC up in business for virtually no cost.  TVCC will take 20% of total fees and tuition and return it to the Great State of Oregon.  Not a penny will go to pay for the building they occupy other than the $200K annually renewable lease on the place.  This pittance will hardly cover depreciation and maintenance costs for the new building. 

The complete and utter disregard for property taxpayers is starting to surface in the legacy media. The local paper did a fine editorial on the costs of the Nampa Public Safety Building that is going up via Nampa Development Corporation issuing revenue bonds with no vote of the people.  Here is a link to that story Keep Public Safety Building Frugal

Urban renewal agencies are out of control.  Mayor Nancolas has announced a conservative budget holding the line on property taxes this year and no increase to taxpayers.  What was left unsaid is he will have around $6 million skimmed off the top of property taxes via urban renewal taxation without representation. Their is no voter oversight of these agencies and they have been granted wide powers of taxation without answering to anyone.

Taxpayers in Canyon County now enjoy the second highest combined levy rate in Idaho.  No serious employer would consider locating in Canyon County when taxes are significantly lower in Ada County.  Urban renewal laws need a legislative fix. A citizens group is forming to lobby for this fix and preliminary meetings on this effort will take place on Tuesday of next week.

Treasure Valley Property Owner's Association will be meeting at the Shilo Inn in Nampa just off I-84 at 2:00 PM in the restaurant meeting room.  The meeting is open to all interested people concerned about UR abuses.


  1. wonder if they made any such offers like this to CWI for a new building. College of Western Idaho is a Idaho college. So much for BUY IDAHO!

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. The real question is about bio-diversity. Is the place more diverse now than it was when it was built? The undeniable answer is YES it is.

    Water is the one thing we can't make more of and why we have all the complex legal issues about water law in Idaho. We need to retain teh status quo at Lake Lowell and keep it open to people for recreational uses.


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