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Huckleberries Online

WEDNESDAY, JULY 26, 2006, 9:49 A.M.

Rosie: Our Taxes Pay For Riverfront Development

Rosie: Your tax money pays for river development through Lake City Dev. Corp. Taxes are shifted to us because Urban Renewal areas don't pay taxes to the public agencies (except 66 percent to schools) What say you Mr. Burns? How much do the taxpayers pay for Mr. Chesrown projects?

DFO: That's not exactly how it works. But we, indeed, underwrite the public money used for some infrastructure in various downtown, riverfront development. Off the top of my head, I believe, it works like this. The property tax rates for the downtown were frozen for general tax purposes when the city created the urban renewal district. Routine increases in those taxes and increases caused by new development were siphoned to the URD to use as seed money to upgrade the central business corp. That should be a sizable chunk of money per year now. Given that the downtown area paid about a tenth of the city's taxes before the URD, the rest of us definitely are underwriting the effort. But an argument can be made that we'll all benefit if/when the URD finally sunsets.

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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.