CCDC Gets Windfall From Schools

The new tax law passed during the one day session of the legislature might appropriately be called the “Law of Unintended Consequences.”

One thing it did was create a windfall profit for the CCDC, (Capitol City Development Corp.) Boise’s urban renewal agency.

Prior to passage of the new tax law, all the tax revenues on improvements within the CCDC district went to CCDC with the EXCEPTION of the taxes due the Boise School District…city, county, and highway district taxes are all diverted to the CCDC. That means all the new buildings and improvements downtown yield NOTHING to local governments.

Thanks to repeal of previous provisions in the law, Boise schools no longer collects any money whatsoever on downtown improvements. Under the old formula CCDC received revenues destined for Boise Schools. Under the new law they get revenues nearly 1% higher than in the past. That translates to about $211,000 in windfall profit for CCDC.

New construction–especially BoDo–combined with the school windfall have increased the expected tax revenues that go to CCDC and NOT to the city, county, schools or highway district. The value of IMPROVEMENTS and appreciation to downtown property is about $350million.

Last tax year they received about $4.5 million that other agencies made up by increasing the tax levy on property outside the downtown area. The current year property taxrevenue estimate for CCDC is nearly $6.25 million.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. You forgot to mention the tax money that would otherwise go to local governments goes to pay off the bonds that funded the public improvements that made the whole thing possible in the first place. I don’t expect a lot of families with kids live in the CCDC jurisdiction anyway.

    I can’t help admiring the beautiful Boise downtown skyline in your masthead – that’s a great photo and a further testament to the terrific work CCDC and other local agencies and businesses have done in building a better city. Thanks.

  2. This is not the easiest issue to comprehend, but if I read it right, the schools are losing $$$ that ends up in the coffers of CCDC, replaced by increased levy rates.

    Mr. Wonk: You speak as though taking money from local government is a GOOD thing. All your rich business friends pay nothing for police, fire, and highways yet they CONSUME many times more than those residents with children. Most people NEVER call the fire dept. The FD has responded to almost ALL downtown buildings at one time or another.

    Do we really still need three urban renewal districts that usurp revenues from local governments? I think not.

  3. Sounds as though Mayor Bieter and council have created a tax-eating monster (CCDC) that grows fatter with Gov. Risch’s and the state legislatures schemes to make the poor pay more taxes that the rich benefit from. The poor now pay the ” property tax relief” that Risch crowed about every time they buy food. Now the schools get nothing from the property tax while collecting their money from the new sales tax on food. Is that relief,Governor Risch? At the same time all taxes on building improvements made in The CCDC district go to CCDC. The city,County,highway district and schools get nothing. All the Idaho State and local politicos have to do to take more money from the poor in the form of regressive taxation is create another ” tax district” administered by bureaucrats and business buddies who keep the politicos in office with financial contributions ( derived from taxpayer funds.)Thus the rich ( CCDC) get richer while the poor ( the People aka- The Taxpayers) get poorer. It’s the American way, and Risch and the one-party economic elite state system along with County Commishes and Team Dave are raping Idaho Taxpayers with it.

  4. Mr. L. I don’t think the schools are losing 350k. If I understand tax increment financing, the taxes collected on any increases in value inside the URD stay with the agency to use to complete their Urban Renewal Plan.

    The only exception was heretofor that School Districts were allowed their revenue for M and O from the tax increment. Now that School M and O has been taken FROM the property tax rolls, the URD has no one with whom they must share the booty, if you will.

    For small URDs with a solid plan and a respectable shelf life this change is a real boon and will help small towns throughout the State.

    For large Development Corporations with perpetual and seemingly endless lists of “projects”, it places an additional burden on those who live within the jurisdiction, but outside the URD.

    TAM–Nicely said. Schools don’t lose, CCDC gains.

  5. Well put, Tam.

    In fact, one would hope that by increasing the amount of money going to pay off the urban renewal bonds, they could be paid off sooner. Then, all the monies now going to pay off the bonds would go to police, fire, schools, etc., which they never would have received if the urban renewal plan were never accomplished. People are under some impression the money goes to enrich the CCDC employees personally, when it really goes to service public infrastructure improvements (parking garages, streetscape, landscaping, etc.).

    Urban renewal plans are a long-term investment in the tax base of a city. Hang in there, enjoy the nice downtown depicted in the masthead photo above, pay off the bonds, and we’ll all have a better city in a few decades.

    Mr. Logic, you’re obsessed with my work (although you forget to mention I also assist neighborhood associations) and take every cheap shot you get to try and discount my standing to speak here. May I ask, what do you do for a living, or what did you do if you are now retired? No dodging, please.

  6. There is one unanswered question. When does CCDC’s mission/charter be deemed complete? Most urban renewal districts eventually expire as they have accomplished the objective that they were created for.

    Downtown Boise seems to be revitalized by the completion of projects like BODO, parking garages and new buildings galore. Is it now time for private business to take over with this foundation laid by CCDC.

    EDITOR NOTE–They continue to expand with River Street and West End districts, as well as refinance the original. We see no end EVER.

  7. Wonk, you reveal more about yourself than any of us care to know. My reference to “taking money from local government” was the revenues diverted to CCDC which deserve to go to local government.

    Government money going to you I am certain would be insignificant by any measure. Far from obsessed, I care not your activities or involvements. I will maintain my credibility and reputation anonymously thanks.

  8. Clancy, you raise a really good point. Downtown is pretty much done from what I can see and, judging by the photo at the top of this Web page, the CCDC has done a great job with it. It’s time to move on to other parts of the city that really need help.

    I’d like to see the CCDC deal with the increasing problem of trailer parks being bought out and their occupants (usually old/poor/disabled) evicted. State code allowes for urban renewal in areas considered “blighted.” Trailer parks are the closest things we have to slums around here – if anything qualifies for urban renewal TLC, it’s them.

  9. Again, I hope I understand this correctly. Wonk brings a good point about developers purchasing “trailer parks” and the displacement issues this causes for those least able to cope. A City can declare an area “Slum and Blight” which makes it eligible for Federal funding and grants to assist owners in avoiding homelessness. A Slum and Blight area does NOT NEED to be part of a URD to be eligible for funds. I believe that Sage Community Development assisted the residents of one such park recently with financial assistance, and it didn’t have anything to do with URD.

  10. The extra $1.75 million CCDC will be collecting would be more than enough – and then some – to offset the revenue they collect for parking at the Ada County Courthouse. So how about it, CCDC folks, free public parking at the Courthouse?!

    Granted, it might be necessary to build a new parking structure to serve all the additional cars that now park at Winco, on the street, etc, to avoid the Courthouse parking situation, but even that would be doable with so much extra revenue. 🙂

  11. CCDC is looking to expand elsewhere in the city and those approvals should come with some measurable goals. We would then know when those goals are reached, they are doing their job successfully.

    Here is a quote from an article on Public Authorities and I think it sums up the problems with organizations like the CCDC. “Public authorities are the Enrons of state government, New York State Attorney General Elliot Spitzer charged in a speech last year, “hiding spots, breeding grounds for inertia, incompetence and, at times, worse.”

  12. Well, it sure would be interesting to see if CCDC would be eager to deal with poor people. They’ve done a great job so far downtown, but they’ve largely dealt with the movers and shakers, not the moved and the shaken. It would require a big re-orientation of the CCDC’s mission for it to deal with people who are largely poor and vulnerable.

    Tam makes a good point about not necessarily needing a URA to do these things. On the other hand, I think some of these landowners would be perfectly content to sit on a trailer park slum and wait until a lucrative offer comes along to sell, then boot everyone off when it comes time to sell. A URA could, if necessary, exercise eminent domain, force the landowner to sell, and then have a developer build decent, dignified low-income housing on the land.

  13. Inside City Hall
    Dec 2, 2006, 10:47 pm

    This Council and mayor will not get rid of the CCDC – It is their best tool to cut deals with developers and stay outside the bounds of the City rules.

    Why give up give up your best tool to go around the voters and have a never ending flow of cash?

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