City Government

CCDC Short On Funds For Courthouse Debt

The new blog by Ada Commish Sharon Ullman yielded a little gem about the Capitol City Development Corp and the controversial funding scheme for the courthouse.

According to Ullman’s POST, CCDC officials met with the three Commishes looking for some bucks to make bond payments on the Courthouse which just happens to be owned by Boise City’s urban renewal agency. The county owns the dirt, but the CCDC owns the building.

The financing was done without voter approval and included a lot of “projected revenues” which have since gone by the wayside and the county even had to use eminent domain–for some reason–to acquire ground floor commercial space which does not generate revenue for debt service or taxes for the city and county, contrary to original plans.

According to Ullman’s blog, “CCDC wants either increased parking rates (in the nearby garage), or a payment each year from county taxpayers, to make up the deficit. When I asked the amount of the deficit, no one present at the meeting from CCDC was able to answer my question. What we do know, at this point, is that there is a deficit.”

Urban renewal opponents predicted for years that taxpayers would ultimately be left holding the bag, but urban renewal PROponents have always claimed that any default risk would be only on the bondholders and “bond insurance” would protect them.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. This is just another fiasco just like the lease/purchase fire stations. These deals never turn out like the pretty proposals and are not worth the paper they are written on. Maybe some legislation should be considered to ban any form of public/private partnerships on public facilities. Has there ever been a successful one?

  2. So if they don’t pay, who gets to foreclose and take over this white elephant?

  3. Skeletons in the Closet
    Feb 5, 2009, 7:32 am

    If they don’t know the amount of the deficit, how do they know they have a deficit? Unless, of course, they are talking about the deficit of good planning. That part has never changed.

    Smells like a fish to me.

  4. This is PRECISELY why Sharon Ullman was elected! If anyone believes that this situation would have been made public by anyone else, they are kidding themselves!
    Boise Pickayune, Jim Tibbs, and even the good mayor called for an audit of the CCDC almost TWO YEARS ago! What happened? Councilwoman Jordan reported that CCDC told them, and the city to go pound sand! With the myriad of commissions and “blue ribbon” committees being appointed by the mayor and county commissioners, One would have to believe that there are enough capable citizens in this county willing to dive into the CCDC’s books and find just how badly these “Jamokes” have been shafting us!

  5. Sounds like it’s time for the county/city to make more laws and more fines for existing laws in order to increase court activity and bring in more revenue.

    Let’s see, fines for code violators, at $50 a pop that could probably wipe out any deficit and pay the building off in a few years. Bigger fines for dog poop in the foothills, greenbelt, school playgrounds would generate $1000s in annual revenue. Prohibit alcohol again! Make the age of consent 21 instead of 18. Add a 2C button to parking meters. 2C plate holders must press the 2C button on the meter which activates double fees. If the meter enforcer finds a 2C car without an activated 2C button the car gets a double fine.

    Any more?

  6. How in the world could CCDC officials call a meeting to request deficit funding and not know the amount of the deficit required. Really Sharon? If this is true….god help us.

  7. Serendipity
    Feb 5, 2009, 10:41 am

    “…but urban renewal PROponents have always claimed that any default risk would be only on the bondholders and “bond insurance” would protect them.”
    Hmmm, nothing about the bond insurance angle in the article; surely this is also known to somebody? Dave? or Sharon?

  8. Clippityclop
    Feb 5, 2009, 12:26 pm


    You’re my hero. Puh-leeze continue to keep us informed… this story is outrageous! Rick, Fred, where are you on this? That plucky chick is showing you both up already and it’s only February.

  9. The whole scheme around financing the courthouse has been a mess since it started. Empty space, unrented apartments and pipe dreams do not equal a responsible, feasible long term financing solution. The public should have been able to vote on a bond to fund the project.

    This is Idaho’s version of a ponzie scheme.

    This is why we cannot let our state constitiution be changed to allow local option taxes or less than 66% approval of bonds – or you well get a lot more of this “creative” financing.

  10. Tom Anderson
    Feb 5, 2009, 3:36 pm

    — Sharon Ullman for Governor! —

  11. From the story: “or a payment each year from county taxpayers, to make up the deficit.” I’m wondering just how they are going to get county taxpayers to make up the deficit? Increase property taxes? Impose a tax on each county resident? If anyone knows, please post. Thank you!

  12. […] tip to the Boise Guardian, which adds that “Urban renewal opponents predicted for years that taxpayers would ultimately […]

  13. Transparency and accountability will come only with the absorption of Boise’s various Shadow Governments – such as the CCDC – into existing city agencies and departments.

    A move as unpopular within City Hall as within the Shadow Governments themselves, because it will also bring an end to years of Plausible Deniability afforded City Hall.

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results! ~ Albert Einstein

  14. The people who brought us University Place are deeply involved in a lot of the development along the Front and Myrtyle corridor, vis-a-vi the CCDC.

    There was a report a few months ago concerning bank failures that said something about this kind of debt (from creative local government financing schemes) is a big problem and will be a big part of the bailout. I wish I’d kept the link to that article. I think I posted it on another thread.

    I wonder if Bieter has thought about asking the Attorney General for help? The Attorney General has some unique powers involving financial fraud and financial issues.

Get the Guardian by email

Enter your email address: