It’s been a long time since we talked about LCDC, and I know you’ll be thrilled to hear what they’re doing with your property tax dollars. Our County Clerk, Cliff Hayes, just released the yearly report of Urban Renewal money, so let’s look at LCDC’s portion:
More than $540,000 dollars in property tax that would normally have gone to NIC, went to LCDC instead. And if you include all the urban renewal districts in Kootenai County, the total diverted away from NIC was almost $1million. My, my, I bet the college would like to have that income right now. Oh, wait, they do get their whole income because you and I and every other taxpayer in the County pay more on our NIC taxes to help make up for the million that goes to urban renewal.
LCDC has two “districts” (technically called Revenue Allocation Areas) which are very large. One district includes most of downtown plus NW Blvd and up 4th St. The other district goes way out on Seltice Way.
Every single piece of property in these two huge districts has a portion of their property taxes going to LCDC, whether the property got any help from LCDC or not. This tax portion is called the “increment” and is the increase in the property taxes from the time these two districts were started back in 1997 and 2003, until now.
Have your property taxes increased since 1997? If you live in one of the LCDC districts, all of the increase goes to LCDC, not to the City of CdA, Kootenai County, NIC, Highway Districts, 911, etc., as it normally would without urban renewal.
And the unelected board of LCDC decides what to do with that public tax money.
The fact that LCDC gathers this money is the reason you don’t get to Vote on many of the major projects in our city. They don’t need your permission. The City can just go to LCDC for the money that was taken from you, without your approval, and use it for whatever project they desire.
Hence we see big money from LCDC pumped into McEuen, without your Vote, and now they are talking about putting $10 million toward a Sports / Events Center in Riverstone. It’s supposedly for NIC but would be a public – private partnership. Keep your eye on this one.
LCDC’s total tax increment income for 2012 was $5 ½ Million, which is down a tiny bit from the previous year. $1.5 Million of that would normally have gone to Kootenai County, and $3 Million would have gone to the City of CdA.
You can read the full report from the County Clerk by clicking here.
In other news, there are some important meetings coming up:
Tomorrow, Saturday, April 13, at 12:30 pm in the Community Room of the CdA Library, there’s a meeting about the County’s proposed new Land Use rules and regulations (ULUC). If you have any land in the County or care about private property rights, it will be important for you to attend.
NIC is having public meetings about where they should build their PTE facility (Professional Technical). Should it be on their regular campus or should it be out near the KTEC high school where NIC has some land? There are three dates for these meetings: Monday April 15, Monday April 29 and Monday May 6. All are from 7-8 pm in the Student Union Bldg at NIC. (The first two are in the Lake CdA Room and the last one is in the Driftwood Bay Room.) Please try your best to show up for one of them and give your opinion. We have two new Trustees at NIC who really want your input!
And this next Tuesday night is the CdA City Council Meeting, starting at 6pm in the Library Community Room. You can come in person or watch on Channel 19. There’s an interesting Agenda item about the American Legion Baseball field. Remember “equal or better”?
So, dear Readers, that’s enough for right now. There are many things brewing about town and I expect we’ll have some interesting times coming up. Have a great weekend. I will be out walking, passing out info for the conservative candidates in the CdA School Board election on May 21. Hope it doesn’t rain too hard!