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April 08, 2012


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Carol Marze

To tackle California's mounting debts, Governor Jerry Brown came down with a heavy hand and eliminated Urban Renewal districts throughout the state. Following is an excerpt from a larger article:
In theory, RDAs spearhead blight removal. In fact, they divert billions of dollars from traditional services, such as schools, parks, and firefighting; use eminent domain to seize property for favored developers; and run up California’s debt to pay those developers to construct projects of dubious public value, such as stadiums and big-box stores. Most Californians have long been unaware that these agencies exist. As the activist group Municipal Officials for Redevelopment Reform puts it, RDAs constitute an “unknown government” that “consumes 12 percent of all property taxes statewide,” is “supported by a powerful Sacramento lobby,” and is “backed by an army of lawyers, consultants, bond brokers and land developers.”
PDC is facing dwindling revenue and needs this district to support the agency's revenue stream. Portland would do well to eliminate this bloated bureau and return the money to tax payers and let them rebuild Lincoln High School and award tax support to PSU.
PDC is a municipal leach.

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