Meridian officials better be careful about what they wish for because wishes sometimes come true.
Meridian’s City Mother, Tammy DeWeerd, is aiming to be like her big brother to the east and creating a “Vision for Downtown.” That includes getting an act of congress to reclaim the Union Pacific Railroad’s land in the core of the city which was originally a gift from Uncle Sam.
How ironic that Uncle Sam gave away land to the railroad to spur DEVELOPMENT and 100 years later the local government wants to take away the land…to spur development!
Big problem now is the developers are more savvy and the publicly owned land within that urban renewal district won’t yield any tax revenues.
None of the improvements (new buildings) will yield any tax revenues to the city because taxes on those new buildings go only to the urban renewal agency–just like in Boise where the CCDC forces the little people to pay for the city services to the big building owners.
The IDAHO STATESMAN calls attention to Hillsboro, Oregon where a similar “little town grows up” story created a new downtown for just under $1 billion over a five year period.
Meridian’s annual budget is about $61 million. That means if those financial gurus of that growing city spend every single tax dollar in their budget over the next 16 years, they too can be like Hillsboro, Oregon…provided the Union Pacific gives up without a fight.
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