Bench Taxpayers Fund Boise’s Valley Projects

When the proposed 30th Street Urban Renewal District came up at the Boise City Council meeting last week (a vote to create the district was postponed) it was noted by some that a total of nearly two square miles of Boise would be “off the tax rolls.”

Hint: 640 acres to a square mile and the new district would put a total of more than 1,100 acres within urban renweal jurisdiction. That means taxes on all improvements and appreciated value would go to the CCDC (Capital City Development Corp) NOT the city, county, school or highway district.

We looked at a map of the city and a shocking fact became obvious: The MAJORITY of property below the Depot Rim provides NO TAX REVENUE to the city.

Consider these tax exempt properties in addition to the 2 square miles soon to be under control of CCDC:

–BSU Campus and newly purchased residential areas
–Ann Morrison, Julia Davis, Albertson, Veterans, Municipal parks and Warm Springs Golf Course
–Military Reserve in the hills
–St. Luke’s Hospital and Elk’s Rehab complex
–V.A. Hospital and Federal building campus
–Capitol Bldg. and State office complex

While we certainly don’t advocate doing away with our wonderful riverside parks, hospitals or educational institutions, it should be noted those of us who live on the Bench are getting soaked for a huge tax burden with little direct benefit. No wonder the politicos keep annexing more areas to provide revenue for their pet projects.

Boise PD has special patrol squads for the downtown booze crowd, the fire department needs expensive ladder trucks and extra manpower for high rise responses–mostly funded by residents and businesses on the Bench. Rather than expand the controversial CCDC sphere of domination, we feel it would be wiser to seek alternative funding methods and leave as much property on the tax rolls as possible.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Rod in SE Boise
    Jul 25, 2010, 1:43 pm


    You forgot to mention all the churches and other religious property that is not taxed, nationwide.

    The mayor and city council shouldn’t be creating all these UR districts and other entities (like CCDC) to do their work for them, while at the same time taking property off the tax rolls. It is time for a major roll-back of city, county, and state authority.

  2. Oh, good. I own a rental property near 29th and Bannock. I will really enjoy not paying property taxes on it!!!!

    EDITOR NOTE–Not so fast TJ! You still pay, but the taxes (on improvements and appreciation) go to CCDC–not the usual city, county, schools etc.

  3. The only way we can put a stop to this lunacy is to get off our collective rear ends and go to the city council meetings, propoganda events and all the other methods the city is using to ruin the city we all love. When 8-9 people show up at a council meeting, it gives the appearance of “tacit approval” for these idiotic ideas they are proposing.

  4. I understand the frustration but the headline may be too sensational. Many other neighborhoods that are getting stuck with the same bill.

    EDITOR NOTE– Fair statement Clancy. My point is there is probably more “non-revenue land” in the Valley than property that yields revenue. True, any private parcels outside a CCDC area also pay.

  5. note to cyclops,
    I am more than a little certain Mayor Dave and his crew know what the deal is with Urban Renewal and how it screws all Ada County and Bosie city taxpayers into paying for UR projects via a massive tax shift.

    What really needs to happen is a Legislative fix to this huge rip off of Idaho Taxpayers. Problem is, most of the folks we send to the State Legislature do not have a clue what is going on with UR abuses and how UR law is used to avoid bond elections. To date they really do not show any signs of doing anything consturctive to make UR accountable to the people where they exist.

    Last year, CCDC hired attorney Ryan Armbruster to write a “fix” to the UR legislation. It was a case of the fox in the hen house and didn’t make it out of committe, thanks to a few Representatives on the Revenue and Taxation subcommittee.

    The fix is simple, make UR law congruent with our Idaho Constitution and forbid them to use it to build public legacy building projects.

    Current laws allow UR agencies to bypass voters, they are legally allowed to issue revenue bonds without a vote of the people.

    This is simply wrong and they know it.

  6. Obamanomics: To take from those who work and give to those who do not. Or in this case Bieternomics. Bieternomics is to take from that which supports profitable businesses and give to those businesses which should have closed the doors. Bieternomics is not to be confused with Betternomics. Betternomics is to have government stay home and let the people and businesses be free to thrive.

    What would be nice to know is the motive for this kind of redistribution of wealth.

  7. My business is in the River District but does not see one penny of improvements or ever seen a mailing about CCDC’s ongoings in this area. I guess notification to property owners are not a mandate for these entities.

    And for Paul while we are at it, how about changing the way property taxes are figured. I think the assessor should figure out assesments and total taxes to be collected first. Then the local agencies could figure out there budgets and live with their means.

  8. Rod in SE Boise
    Jul 26, 2010, 4:50 pm

    Zippo sees some redistribution of wealth going on here. If there is, it is a redistribution of wealth from average, middle class Boiseans (those who work for a living) to wealthy Boiseans (who don’t). That’s more like Bushonomics.

  9. So now we know why the city jacks up the levi rates so they can have the same amount of income!!!!!!!!!!

    They take all this off the rolls and then they JACK UP THE RATES!!

  10. Paul, I can’t disagree with you. Therefore the first stop we have to make is in contacting our legislators and explaining to each of them that any support they give the UR issues will result in vigorious support for their next opponent! Then we can go to city council and let them know the ponyride is over!
    Enough is way too enough!

  11. Rod, where have all the “O” bumperstickers gone? But I must also say Bushonomics = Stupidonomics.

    The motive man, help me find the motive. Why play with other peoples money?

  12. And then there is the plan by Boise State to take property near the airport, valued at over $ 2 million for tax purposes, off the tax rolls so it can build a park and ride lot on the site.

    Where does all this stop?

  13. Now that I know my tax dollars will go to CCDC I feel a little bit sick. I pay more taxes on a little 50 x 110 foot lot with a hundred year old house on it than I pay on a 1/3 acre parcel in Eagle with a 20 year old house. There is something wrong with this picture. I have paid more taxes on my little rental in the last few years than the property cost in the 1970’s when I bought it. Doesn’t seem like I am getting the benefit of my investment.

  14. TJ wrote: “Doesn’t seem like I am getting the benefit of my investment.”

    Exactly TJ. That’s exactly why an urban renewal district is needed. For decades tax revenue has been diverted to the suburbs. One quick example, ACHD. Look at all the road work done in West Boise and SE Boise. Sure, people out there pay taxes too, but so do those of us in the downtown area and we’ve gotten almost $0 in public investment for a very long time.

    TJ, get out there and support the 30th Street Extension, the white water park and Esther Simplot Park. The 30th Extension was proposed over 40 years ago. Every other project that old has been built and they serve the suburbs.

    You should be proud your west downtown property pays more property tax than the one in Eagle. That simply means it’s worth more. Study your tax bill. It’s the land, not the house that makes it so expensive. Downtown land is worth $400,000 or more an acre simply because of its proximity to downtown.

    To the rest of you tax-o-phobes. I’m still waiting for an accounting of what the URDs cost us. My guess is it’s no more than a few 10s of dollars a year. Are you all really that cheap? My opinion is that it’s worth it to prevent ghetto-fication.

  15. Except for the whitewater park, which is a COMPLETE waste of money, I agree with you Cynic. The 30th. street extension and the park should both be pursued vigorously. Just not with the CCDC, as they are one of the biggest wasters of taxpayer money ever to walk the planet!

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