Growing Like Cancer
Idaho is experiencing a growth spurt unequaled since the days of homesteading, free mining claims, free cattle grazing, and water rights.
Guess what? The modern version of those government give aways come in all sorts of “economic incentives” which has local citizens PAYING corporations to move businesses to the Treasure Valley and the rest of the state.
On the face of it growth sounds good. The problem comes when businesses come here to do things they couldn’t do elsewhere. Things like pollute with dairy cattle waste that wouldn’t be allowed in California. Or pay lower wages than California, Washington, and Oregon–or about 90% of the states in the USA. They bring more workers with them which drives up the price of real estate. Nice if you want to sell, but bad if you want to buy.
Politicos love the real estate boom because it means higher tax revenues, but the increase seldom pays for the problems caused by growth.
Some IDAHO FREEBIES listed here.
Here’s a cute little deal, especially if you are tight with the Commerce Director:
Idaho Opportunity Fund
“Does your community need infrastructure improvements to attract or accommodate a new commercial or industrial facility? Funding is allotted at the discretion of the Idaho Commerce director.”
Price Pump Manufacturing Co., an 86-year-old company that has operated in Sonoma County, California for 70 years, bought 6 acres of land in the Sky Ranch Business Center for about $86,000. The area is part of Caldwell’s urban renewal district, so none of the taxes on the planned 40,000 square foot facility will go to Caldwell to pay for police, fire, sewers, etc. Caldwell citizens will have to foot the bill. Caldwell schools will have to make room for new students as well.
Price Pump purchased the land at below market value from the Caldwell Urban Renewal Agency in exchange for the company’s investment and job creation opportunities. The company will also receive a property tax exemption for up to 75 percent for five years and a job creation grant of up to $200,000. A reader sent us the fallacy of “job creation” with this CRAIGS LIST post encouraging even more Californians to move to Idaho and experience the “American Dream.”
This scenario plays out weekly through Idaho and it is ruining a lifestyle, culture, and ultimately a society. As a certified GROWTHOPHOBE, the GUARDIAN has long welcomed any company or individual to our state as long as they pay their fair of taxes and don’t come for the welfare benefits. We would never PAY individuals to relocate here, grant them 75% tax exemptions, and claim it is progress to increase the population.
News reports show the median price for homes sold in Ada County during the first quarter of the year was $297,000, while the median price in Canyon County was $201,100, according to a report from the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service. In Sonoma County, the median price in March was $639,000, double the price five years ago.
The City of Meridian pays the new private for-profit Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine $50,000 a year and plans to forgive $100,000 in building fees. They created an urban renewal district out of a cornfield so Gardner Development could build the new Paylocity building which is said to attract 500 new jobs. They will get benefits similar to Price Pump. Meanwhile West Ada Schools will be forced into another expansion funded by existing residents.
While the politicos all crow about Idaho being “business friendly,” they fail to admit the problems they are creating for we citizens. Nampa residents are on the hook for more than $200 million in sewer improvements, Ada County County Highway District has ever increasing demand on the road network, and air quality frequently rivals that of the Los Angeles Basin.
The tired old refrain of “you can’t stop growth” is simply ill informed drivel. Stop paying to increase the population, stop changing zoning master plans to encourage development, and respect those of us who have lived her our entire adult lives.
We realize “things change,” but downtown Boise is looking like “Anywhere USA as the sky and foothills are replaced with bricks and glass.
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