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Friday, September 2, 2011

Clackistan commissioners unveil mindscrew

Down in the "urban renewal" war zone known as Clackamas County, the county commissioners, terrified of a ballot measure that would subject all expansion of "urban renewal" schemes to a countywide vote, are racing the clock to defeat the measure by shabby means. They've now revealed a hastily drafted competing measure that if passed, would trump the proposition that a group of unhappy taxpayers have placed on the November ballot via thousands of signatures on petitions.

True to form, the commissioners have thrown a couple of distracting twists into their measure. But the basic difference between it and the petition measure is that the commissioners' version would require a vote of only the voters within an affected "urban renewal" area -- not the whole county, as the petition measure would require.

The whole point of the petition drive was that "urban renewal" steals property tax dollars from agencies throughout the county, and so voters throughout the county should have a say in whether or when "urban renewal" is going to be used. The people in a proposed "urban renewal" area would invariably vote in favor of "renewal" -- that is, pork that they would enjoy at others' expense. That kind of election would be meaningless.

We'll see if the voters down that way are as dumb as the county commissioners think they are. Such dirty, dirty pool they're playing. It should be an interesting couple of months.

Comments (18)

Better yet, it's time for a statewide Constitutional amendment:

Amendment 1: No urban renewal district or other tax abatement scheme shall be approved without the consent of voters in any area that would be financially impacted by the creation of the district.

Amendment 2: No public transportation project that costs more than $10 million shall be approved without the consent of voters who would be financially liable for the project. (Since every public transportation project involves federal dollars, this would essentially require a statewide vote on any TriMet project.) Nothing in this amendment shall be construed to prevent a transit agency from maintaining its current service, including the purchase of replacement vehicles for already approved services.

Well, this is how it's done in Beaverton. There's a UR measure on the ballot this fall, but only Beaverton residents get to vote on it. Those of us outside of Beaverton, but paying taxes and receiving services in the Beaverton School District, TV Fire district, TV Water district, TH Park and Rec, Clean Water Services (sewerage), and Washington County have no say in whether Denny Doyle and Don Mazziotti get to siphon revenue away from those districts to benefit their cronies.

Something ain't right.

(By the way, with all these overlapping tax districts providing most of their basic services, Beaverton residents would be forgiven for asking what, exactly, they get for their tax remittances to Beaverton. The answer is: police and "planning services.")

Beaverton lies in the ballot claiming the funding will come form the projects and investments.

In the plan itself it says $1 Billion in assessed value growth unrelated to any UR plan will have all it's propetry taxes taken to pay the debt.

They claim 3% growth in the district over the next 30-40 years without UR and
4% growth in the district with UN "investment".

In reality the growth is likely to be 4% without UR and no better or only slighty more with it.

So little about the plan actually generates new property taxe revenue that it is nothing but another UR scam that will spend millions on developers expanding the failed Round and trying to make Light Rail a centerpiece for Beaverton.

Idiots and liars are running the city.

Too bad E. Kimbark MacColl never wrote his 3 book about the corruption in Portland naming the current bunch of idiots, scammers, liars and cheats.

Steve R. is right with one exception.

Although the wider siphoning will occur only the City of Beaverton will ultimately be responsible for the debt.

This Clackamas County competing measure would allow only a tiny fraction of voters to approve the debt while holding the whole county responsible for it's payment.
That on it's face is a despicable prospect worthy of a crushing defeat or perhaps even a court challenge.

I wonder if the county counsel considered this reality.

How is it legitimate for a small district to committ the whole county to paying a massive debt.

The real analogy would be allowing only the Beaverton UR district to approve their $150 million debt while holding the whole city responsible for it.

Of course behind all of this battle is the false premise that only these agenda driven "plans" and no other represent progress.

Jack, you've stated the Clackamas Co's Commissioners underhanded moves succinctly.

I'll say it more so: "Taxation without Representation".

Beaverton officials also lie in their glossy "Your City" newsletter. To wit, City Councilor Ian King's UR FAQ in the July/August edition:

"Will Urban Renewal take money away from Beaverton schools?

"The short answer to this is also: No. Schools are funded by income taxes from the State School Fund and not local school funds."

While Oregon schools get most of their operating revenue from the state (since Measure 5), they still depend on local property tax revenue for a portion of their budget (check your property tax bill). A Beaverton URD will absolutely take revenue from BSD, and every other overlapping tax district. To assert otherwise, Councilor King is either woefully misinformed or flat out lying.

I'm not sure which is worse.

I'm with Erik: it's long past time for a statewide measure to address this idiocy.

Thank you, Jack.

Please run for State A.G. and watch them scatter like mice when the lights turn on.

Or ask Kroger to grow a spine.

Don't most school districts get at or less than $5 per thousand of assessed value. Special levy's add more local money.

Clackamas looks like it is ready for a recall for some of these sleazeballs.
If Beaverton did not learn from the Round, they are Porkland Jr.
Time to bring Don McIntire out of retirement for a constitutional amendment.

I like the "if less than 51% object" wording, sneeeeeeeeeeeeaky.

So, a majority of 50.9999% wouldn't be enough, even under that cockamamie flim-flam, anti-social ballot measure?

I don't mind if those sc@mbags screwed up their own devilish gang-bang of the Clackamas taxpayers and residents.

I think they just sneaked their heads back up their no-sunshine-holes. What a bunch of big monkeys f'ing a football.

Just curious, does the ballot measure specify precisely how a property owner is expected to notify the county of an objection. I'm assuming it's not through an election process as I believe that property ownership stopped being a precondition for voting rights sometime in the 1850's.

"if less than 51% object"

Not 51% of votes, but 51% of all residents is the way I read it - Which is a lot higher bar for objectors to clear.

I don't know if it matters, all of these pols are out for their own interest instead of the electors. Unfortunately, they write the laws.

k2, allowing only property owners of a proposed URA to determine a URA is a extremely questionable legal and moral dilemma Clackamas Co. Commissioners are proposing. Your point about the history of voting being extended from just ownership is relevant. We've moved on from 1600AD English landowners only able to vote.

I wouldn't want to be a lessor of commercial space with extensive investment (or even miniscule), then having the proposed URA proposing (or in the future requiring) a Local Improvement District (LID), Service Development Charges (SDC) and any other charges that could affect my costs-and not being allowed to vote or cross a box indicating acceptance of the URA. Most URA's like SoWhat have these additional taxation contrivances.

Janik and Co. are moving down a dangerous legal slope, not withstanding the elimination of not allowing the whole county to vote who are affected.

Our Oregon files inquiry with Secretary of State over signature verification process for Clackamas County urban renewal initiative

Maybe First Our Oregon will lose its 501(c) non-paying tax status over this overreaching attempt. Maybe the Feds will need to set up a permanent corruption bureau here.


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