The urban renewal reform bill that emerged from a legislative interim committee continued its tortured journey today, the Lewiston Tribune’s Bill Spence reports, earning just enough votes to make it out of committee to the House floor for possible amendments.
The legislation, HB 606, has been rewritten and modified several times since November. The House Revenue and Taxation Committee held a 90-minute hearing on the latest version of the bill, which provides an option for electing urban renewal board members, places limits on the type of projects that can be financed with tax increment revenues without a public vote, and clarifies that the base property value in a revenue allocation area must be reset if the redevelopment plan is modified.
“I've always been a believer that urban renewal is a good thing if done right,” said House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star. “But I also believe they ought to pick a project, finish it and dissolve, pick another project, finish it and dissolve. Instead, we have this phenomenon where they never go away. They're like a rash you can't get rid of.” You can read Spence’s full report here at his “Political Theater” blog.