Should Redevelopment Answer To Taxpayers?

Tax watchdogs in Idaho are challenging the state's redevelopment agencies, and opened up the question: are they city departments, or not? And if they are, shouldn't their decisions follow the will of the voters?
August 28, 2008, 10am PDT | Tim Halbur
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"After beating back the City of Boise's plans for public financing of a police station and then a parking garage, watchdog blogger Dave Frazier and a loose-knit group of tax hawks across Idaho have set their sights on urban renewal.

If you ask any city official, they'll say that urban renewal is completely separate from city government. But a pair of lawsuits in Nampa and Rexburg argue that urban renewal agencies are a mere costume change in a phone booth from the cities they serve.

Their argument: If it looks like a city department, acts like a city department and quacks like a city department, it's probably a city department. They call the agencies "alter egos" of city government.

"By any construction and reasonable interpretation of the English language, the Nampa Urban Renewal Agency is governed by the city," Frazier wrote in court documents."

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Published on Wednesday, August 27, 2008 in The Boise Weekly
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