Boise Schools, CCDC Collusion Over Tax

In a move that can be described only as a “conspiracy,” Capital City Development Corp. (CCDC) has agreed to payoff Boise Schools in exchange for support (non-intervention) in a pair of new urban renewal districts. Hush money?

The pay off is couched deep within a resolution:

“WHEREAS the District, the Agency and the City desire to mitigate the revenue loss to the District from the Charter Levy by cooperating with the District to identify and fund a portion of the District’s capital facilities needs in Plan Areas, subject to duly authorized improvements identified in the Plans, consistent with the overall purposes and powers of the Agency.”

Don Day at BOISEDEV has a detailed account of the behind-the-scenes conspiracy.

Boise Schools need the tax revenue that is otherwise diverted to the CCDC for 20 years. This collusion implies that school tax revenues are more important than other taxing units such as ACHD, Boise City, Ada County, and other, hence the special consideration.

Under “tax increment financing,” the tax on improvements and appreciation within an urban renewal district is diverted to the CCDC. Owners pay the taxes, but the money goes to CCDC.

The move by Team Dave and the CCDC is clearly to “buy off” the Boise Schools. The GUARDIAN questions the legality of an urban renewal agency determining which government entity pays while others are excused in a quid pro quo agreement to buy their silence.

As usual, the citizens suffer and the developers benefit. The Idaho Freedom Foundation’s lawsuit is an attempt stop the collusion among other things.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. It keeps getting stickier and stickier doesn’t it? Boy I see the legislature putting the clamps on Urban Renewal after all of this. Going to be some great conversations later this year!

  2. The City of Nampa when they were putting in their Urban Renewal District after being threatened by the Valley View School District with a lawsuit agreed to return to the School District at least a portion of the increment fees collected by the UR Agency. At least $ 350,000 was sent in a check this last year. No other school district or public agency has been paid off for taxes lost. In Nampa’s case it was a payoff to the squeeky wheel and those who remained silent got nothing–and still have to provide the services.

    EDITOR NOTE–Spending URA funds OUTSIDE the UR District would appear to be unlawful. If the money is from the city, it is obviously just hush money and Nampa citizens are paying taxes used outside the city.

  3. Reminds me of a friend who writes for Hollywood. His quote comes from the song by AC/DC, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. As a writer (he cleans up scripts, etc.) he tells me that ideas used in movies are taken directly from real life situations. The scene in the movie The Shawshank Redemption is a classic example.

    Contractor to the Warden: If I don’t get this job, I’ll go under I most certainly will. Warden looking at a pie being offered with a large bribe in the box and tells the contractor not to worry, etc. Written from a few real life examples.

    Would be interesting to see everyone’s bank accounts between certain city employees and the developers.

  4. This entire situation PROVES that the school district AND the Mayor and the CCDC KNOW that urban renewal districts TAKE money from where it is needed.

    It also PROVES that because the money is diverted that taxes are raised (by the school district for one) to make up the difference.


  5. Every other taxing agency should go get the same agreement and drain the CCDC!!!

  6. chicago sam
    Jan 20, 2019, 9:34 pm

    Legal or not the budgeted amount for Nampa UR payments to Vallivue School District in fiscal year 2019 is $496,166. They refer to it as a rebate in the financial statements.

    No other taxing District gets a rebate including the City of Nampa.

    EDITOR NOTE–A conference with Freedom Foundation attorney might be worthwhile. FYI, schools originally were exempt from urban renewal, but that changed under Gov. Risch.

  7. Sad ethics in the local government
    Jan 20, 2019, 11:25 pm

    Why can’t the governments (city, ccdc) just look honestly at the impacts of taking taxable property off the tax rolls. There are plenty of studies that clearly demonstrate that this tax shift must go on to the citizens. (As the Boise folk now admit as Pete points out.) I wish the city would stick to the management of municipal needs as a whole, for the whole city, instead of thinking they are real estate magnets. Why hasn’t anybody questioned the fact that the Boise PDS director set up the districts before he resigned – now to be working for developers in same.

  8. Maybe St. Luke’s will rebate some of the $500M+ they deprive the Boise school district of annually because of their property tax exemption. But strangely, no school districts seem willing to whimper about this or the lack of impact fees for schools.

    In the ‘90’s the Idaho Assn of School Districts made several legislative attempts to permit impact fees for schools but were thwarted by Realty and Builders Assns. The need is so much greater in 2019, but not a whimper from the districts. They seem to be content to try to sell us override levies!

  9. Sad ethics in the local government
    Jan 21, 2019, 9:16 am

    I’ll be votin no on any school and community college levy. If I get to vote on UR districts, I’ll be votin no.

  10. I have not looked at the specifics of the deals described in this article but there seems to be a bit of misunderstanding about URDs and tax increment financing. The tax base is set at the time of the formation of the district and entities, like school districts, continue to get taxes on that amount. The tax that comes in from any increase in the base goes to the URD. In many cases, there would be no increase in the base without the efforts of the URD. Yes, schools and other entities lose the tax money from the increased tax base but only for the period of time that the URD is in effect. Over the long term, those entities get the increased taxes. The question might be would those increases in the base have happened without the efforts of the URD.

  11. Collusion? This must be fake news!
    The alternative facts demand it is not collusion. This media outlet shall be shut-down by the mayor!

    On serious note, the Legislature needs to amend URD law to a vote of the people for EACH and EVERY new district. For CCDC to randomly pick new districts from one year to another is an abuse of their allowance.

    It does make sense for Boise Schools: “Hey, if you spend your money building sidewalks to our 1 school in the URD, build a playground adjacent to it, add a JFK center and/or Boys/Girls Club, and bus stops around the area, etc…Then we’re okay with it” So 1 school becomes much nicer than the other schools not in the district- exactly like downtown vs South Boise.
    Boise School could potential get MORE money of such a deal-for that one school (or two).
    None the less- it stinks!

  12. Wasn’t Boise Fireperson Dennis Droan given a seat on the Boise School District last fall? Wasn’t Dennis behind the PROTECT BOISE $17 million bond election of 2014 selling the public on no TAX INCREASE that has FAILED miserably?
    Taxation without representation?
    We’re talking about PUBLIC SERVANTS! THEY work for US.

  13. Impunity is the lifeblood that keeps these vampires alive. They know that they can get away with this crap because of the ideological mindwarp that exists in the District 19 type voter base. As long as they keep appearing “progressive” and offer shiny new things like legacy libraries and scooters and “orange man bad!” phrases, they stay in power.

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