Posted to Alex’s [read more]
Our monthly open thread. Post news tips about alt parties and independent candidates, discuss any story that should be posted here but has not yet been posted, or even delve into completely off-topic stuff….just avoid quarantined thread subject matter [read more]
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Could Clackamas County residents have received nearly $48 million for police, fire and schools?
Local governments have long relied on urban renewal districts to redevelop blighted areas.
The districts temporarily freeze the amount of property taxes collected for public services such as police, fire protection and schools, then redirect the money to improvement projects inside the district. The tax base is unfrozen when the district ends, allowing public service providers to begin collecting taxes on the new, higher property values.
Urban renewal has become a hot-button issue. Critics, including some in Clackamas County, say it gives government unchecked power to spend money without sufficient oversight and that it amounts to a giveaway to developers.
Clackamas County Commissioner Paul Savas, who is running for re-election, was targeted in a recent flier from the Tigard-based Freedom and Responsibility PAC. The flier, among other things, said Savas helped table a motion under which “Residents could have received nearly $48M for Local Schools, Fire District, Sheriff’s Dept. and Social Services.”
The flier noted that the money would have come from the Clackamas Town Center Urban Renewal District, which formed in 1980 and ended in June with money left over. With local service providers seemingly straining for every cent these days, we decided to check whether Savas actually voted to deny them $48 million in unspent urban renewal money.
According to the flier, here’s where most of that money would have gone if not for Savas’ vote: $20 million to the North Clackamas School District; $8 million to Clackamas Fire District #1; $8 million to the Sheriff’s Office; and $8 million to Clackamas County’s general fund.
The remaining $4 million, according to county documents, would go to the other 13 overlapping taxing entities that operated within the urban renewal district.
The people at Politifact called Savas, who took issue with “two of the flier’s key points: that the money could have been returned to “residents” and that $48 million was eligible for return.” Among other [read more]
The New Mexico Telegram reports that former Governor Gary Johnson has launched a Super PAC for the purpose of supporting pro-freedom candidates throughout the United States. The PAC will be called Our America PAC.
Johnson, who served two terms [read more]
By Peter Gemma, member of the Constitution Party national executive committee, via the national party’s [read more]
For the second straight term, the Napa Valley College Board of Trustees will have a Green Student Trustee. Twenty-five year-old Alex Shantz was elected in a December 3-4 special election with 55.3% of the vote, replacing outgoing Green Student [read more]