Tracking code caldwell guardian

Monday, March 14, 2011

We The People Just Don't Understand Urban Renewal

The following is taken from a Idaho Statesman Article that appeared in the Sunday edition.  What the proponents forget is the Idaho Constitutional Requirement of 2/3rds majority vote when creating debts for taxpayers to repay.  If they want new stuff, then ask and we will decide.


..."Urban renewal supporters say that all these criticisms miss the mark. Cities, counties and the state ultimately benefit from the new development — and urban renewal spending — through increased sales and income taxes. (urban renewal districts are deliberately created in areas that would naturally grow without urban renewal agency help.  urban renewal becomes a handout to developers who are already reaping huge profit margins on their projects,)

“Urban renewal has been one of the cornerstones of economic development in this state and a proven jobs generator. Look at Twin Falls last year, where an urban renewal project created 700-plus jobs in the depths of the recession,” said Mark Rivers, who developed the BoDo project in Downtown Boise and is working with the Twin Falls urban renewal agency.  (again, the projects would have happened with or without urban renewal. the jobs creation numbers came from where? support this with documentation please. Mr. Rivers is passionate about every city from Eugene to Niagra Falls with UR boards and Mayors who can't wait to hand over taxpayer money to him. See letter from Niagar Falls paper on Boise Guardian story.)

Proponents also note that the property tax diversion is temporary. Urban renewal districts use that “incremental” property tax for the 24-year life of the district (although legislators want to change that to 20 years). When the district expires, the gains in value are added to the tax rolls.(a 24 year property tax diversion and putting taxing agencies on a 24 year fixed income that forces higher and higher levy rates on property tax payers who had no say in the formation of the district, the projects and debts is simply wrong)

“Many of Boise’s best projects were made possible through urban renewal, including The Grove Plaza, the Wells Fargo and One Capital Center buildings, BoDo, the 8th Street market, the Basque Block, the Convention Center, and a long list of others,” said CCDC’s Kushlan. (developers bought the property at bargain basement prices, sold it back to CCDC at much inflated prices on the backs of existing property taxpayers who then get to pay for all the pork projects created by CCDC)

Proponents note that mayors and city councils are the elected officials who oversee urban renewal agencies — and do answer to voters. Agency board members often are selected for their business, legal or financial expertise.(agency board members are the "YES" people hand picked by the Mayor and City Councils, It is largely a love-in to think up ways to spend money on projects that would never pass muster with taxpayers via a bond election)

“You don’t want local folks that don’t know much about these transactions on that board,” said Rep. Leon Smith, R-Twin Falls, who sits on his urban renewal agency board."(what, Mr. don't think people who have to pay the bills should serve on a UR board?  I guess they just don't understand PORK PROJECTS when they see them.)

THE GUARDIAN finds Mr. Smith's comment particularly galling.  We, the people just don't need any sway over the actions of Urban Renewal Boards, they know what is best for all of us stuck with paying off millions and millions in revenue bonding debts created by these agencies.  Voting on this by taxpayers is simply wrong in the eyes of Mr. Smith and his ilk.

What started out as seven bills to fix Urban Renewal, put together by citizens who are concerned about the abuses of UR all over Idaho got whittled down to four bills sent to the Idaho Senate.  Now we are down to two bills left for consideration and neither give any citizen oversight to debts created by UR agencies.  The forces of waste, fraud and abuse are alive and well in the Statehouse.  Abuses of our constitutional rights to taxation with representation will continue. 

Even Gov. Jerry Brown in California is working to dismantle these abusive agencies.  It will take more people understanding just how much taxpayer abuse of property taxes is going on before the Idaho Legislature is prepared to return the right of taxation with representation to cities in Idaho.  The legislature will probably be leaving town come the 25th of March.


  1. I love the pro urban renewal people. They throw statistics around without backing up a single sentilla of what the throw out. What is even more amazing is the press laps it up without questioning where the numbers came from. A big shot or a Mayor said it so it must be true...

  2. The next necessity on the Urban Renewal agenda must necessarily be a 5 star bed and breakfast adjacent to the new Caldwell Airport terminal, to welcome the likes of Mark Rivers when they come to call on Big Shot Nancolas and Buds to hustle their latest wares.

  3. Well, It's time to pay attention to your local city council elections that are coming up this fall and make sure we elect members that pay attention to the peoples democracy, rather than giving a free lunch to the likes of special interest groups and lobbies that loot the peoples pocketbook for their own greed and gain.
    Oh, and pay attention to the local chambers of commerce.

  4. I agree with Anonymous it is time for some change on our city council and mayors in Nampa and Caldwell. Surely out of well over 100,000 people there must be some better qualified people than we currently have.

  5. I don't know where you found the graphic for this post, but it's all kinds of awesome.

  6. I see on the front page of Sundays IPT that our so called city leaders are happy that they have prevented the taxpayers from having a say in how their tax money is spent. Apparently Mr. Dale and company feel the only input we should have is pay the taxes.

  7. We need to start thinking ahead right now, about Nampa's next city council election. Nampa has always picked its mayors from members of the city council. Tom Dale is getting close to retirement age. One day he is going to pick up his money and run. As I write the powers to be are grooming and polishing Nampa's next mayor, whoever that might be. Nampa's next city council elections are critical.

  8. I think Mr. Dale would like to stick around for another term or 2. He still has a few monuments he would like to build. I've heard it said never elect a man to the best job he'll ever have because he will do anything to keep it. I think that applys here.

  9. Well... Bob if that's the case then it's time to elect a Nampa city council that can put a check and a checkmate on him. I just hope that, that shadow government AIC isn't grooming and polishing him to be the next governor.

  10. You folks think you have problems you should see what Urban Renewal has pulled here in Pueblo Colorado. Our city councils past and present just let them lie all they want and never ask a question. This Nazi mentality has caused great financial harm to our local schools and to our library district. Now they are trying to pull off another scam and aided by our governor Hickenlooper, a former micro brewer with no leadership skills, and his Tourism Committee that will hand over $33 million to this shadow government of good old boys.


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.