The Idaho Statesman ran a front page puff piece Sunday about BoDo, the newest development about to open in downtown Boise and included the ”big lie” which remains untrue, though oft repeated.
The Statesman reported, “The project will also boost Boise property tax revenues, create hundreds of jobs and is expected to trigger new Downtown residential and commercial construction.” NOT!
In fact, the new downtown buildings and “improvements” yield NOTHING for police, fire, parks, libraries, and other city services. They just CONSUME services without paying for them.
Truth is, businesses outside downtown have to provide their own landscaping, parking, and lighting. These infrastructure improvements are paid by TAXPAYER funds throughout downtown.
A more accurate story would have been, “Spurred on by subsidized development and active night life, Boise’s downtown area has been the scene of 60% of the city’s homicides this year. Three of the five murders during 2005 have taken place on the streets of downtown Boise.”
Perhaps one of the reasons the cops are so strapped for officers and funds is the HIGHEST VALUE property in the state of Idaho pays practically NOTHING to the city that supports it. All but the school tax on the new buildings goes to the CCDC redevelopment agency to perpetuate and expand itself.
Even the COUNTY courthouse is owned by the CITY.
On the flip side of the coin, the Day family has remodeled and expanded Vista Village, the first Idaho shopping center, entirely with private funds.
In a September 19 posting the GUARDIAN called for dissolution of the CCDC board, noting that all members are appointed by the mayor and council and their funding also comes from city taxes. Yet, the mayor and council continue to hide behind the claim of, “That is CCDC, not city.”
Idaho law permits the council to abolish the board with a simple ordinance and take responsibility for the actions of the agency which is REALLY part of city government.
Incumbent councilor Jerome Mapp is a long time member of the CCDC board and he is seeking re-election against Jim Tibbs. He is a pro-growth planner by trade. It would be interesting to hear his take on BoDo at a candidate forum.
It its never ending quest for more and bigger, we find it absurd the city planners and councilors would approve a megaplex theater, hotel and shops between the two busiest streets in town. We are destined to experience gridlock or intolerable traffic congestion prompting folks to “avoid downtown” like some many of us “avoid Eagle Road.”
To paraphrase former New York Yanke catcher/manager Yogi Berra, “It is getting so crowded no one comes here anymore.”
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