Idaho’s Urban Renewal law is coming under fire this session of the legislature and the politicos are going to be forced to choose sides and not sit on the fence this go around.
A group of mostly conservative citizens from Canyon County are getting organized and they already have some draft legislation in the works. The Cities and UR districts–financed with tax dollars will be doing their best to save the tax shift that diverts money from cities, counties, and schools to outifts like Boise’s CCDC which reports to NO GOVERNMENT AGENCY or any elected officials.
UR Districts live off these diverted funds. The Idaho Freedom Foundation opposes the current law and the CALDWELL GUARDIAN has posted a piece ripping the Caldwell mayor’s state of the city speech.
Recent abuses we know about:
–Nampa used the law to take property off the tax rolls and build public facilities with no citizen vote as required by law for debt.
–Coeur d’Alene gave their UR director a $16,000 contribution of tax money to his 401K in lieu of a raise.
–Boise’s CCDC routinely uses public money to influence public opinion on things like the Desire Named Street Car.
–Caldwell gives Simplot workers and others taxmoney for memberships in the private YMCA as well as over $1 million a year for a building owned by the Y.
–Pocatello gave a private firm an interest free loan in a start up company.
–Twin Falls bought a commercial parcel with a stipulation that the seller purchase a new retail site from a member of the UR board.
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