Urban Renewal Gives Financing A Bad Name

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.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Dave,
    Thanks for your help in bringing attention to the abuses of Urban Renewal.

    We remain hopeful the legislature will take the necessary steps to either correct the lack of voter oversight or simply repeal Title 50 chapter 20 this year.

    Taxation without representation is simply wrong. It will take a lot of informed citizens contacting their legislators about this set of laws and promoting a fix.

  2. Couldn’t agree more with your views on this issue. Urban renewal is the realm of the greedy, corporate welfare queens. I despise it, and I will be watching the Legislature very carefully on this issue.

  3. Even if the legislature does something correctly it won’t effect anything that is currently in existance.

  4. The city leaders will lie to the legislators and the legislators are not smart enough to know it or do what is right and control these out-of-control political play toys.

  5. The Legislature could repeal Urban Renewal legislation totally and citizens of Idaho would be much better off. They created this monster and they have to power to fix the problems or kill it off totally.

    The reality is the cat is out of the bag and stuffing it back in will be something that takes political will. Mayors have the ear of legislators and people be damned.

    Any legislation proposed will get a tremendous amount of push-back from all the waste, fraud and abuse Czars of UR all over the State of Idaho. They’ll use our property tax dollars with the lobbyists to kill what really needs to happen to Urban Renewal.

  6. Mayors of other cities amy have the ear of the legislature, but our own Boise mayor is detested by the majority of them.

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