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Thursday, May 20, 2010

In Portland, the scams never stop

It's really not possible to keep up with all the dumb moves and swindles constantly being cooked up by the leadership of the Rose City. Here's the latest "urban renewal" nonsense -- more property taxes sucked away from real needs to make some more real estate weasels richer than they already are. And maybe they'll run some more working people out of town by turning their neighborhood into another high-rise Soviet housing bunker zone. Go by streetcar!

Comments (20)

The committee has the usual number of lenders and developers (and development-related advocates) on board. Urban renewal is always--ALWAYS--driven by private pushes for development and other financial opportunities. Not for general citizen benefit.

Breathtaking. If urban renewal wasn't so complicated and easy to obfuscate, the county and the school districts would be in Salem right now trying to end the whole damn program.

Instead, we get a bunch of incestuous relationships between the county and city leadership and they approve all this nonsense.

Alberta is absolutely thriving. Let schools benefit from that activity. Don't bottle up revenues in a UR expansion. These land grabs have just become inexcusable.

Oh goody! More 4 story 75% vacant office buildings with no parking and lots of pizza parlor/beauty supply places on the ground level.

It's not complicated at all.

It's been deliberately made to appear complex to limit opposition.

It was stopped in Tualatin with public clarity and taxing jurisidiction oppostion.
It will be stopped in Portland, Beaverton and enywhere else another UR ponzie scheme surfaces.

I'll wager this expansion will never happen.

Umm Ben, you haven't been here very long have you?

As long as Portland government legally continues to operate as a shadow real estate development corporation (the PDC) hidden behind irrelevant and buffoonish elected officials (City Hall), nothing's going to change until they run out of real estate to develop or wealth to transfer.

That is how the local government is setup, isn't it? I think most Portlanders aren't aware of this.

That was about the funniest thing I have ever seen here.
As for that youtube posted by o.w.m.
It's the perfect example of rampant public deceit perpetrated by the PDC.
There is so little of the entire PDC operation that government has any business doing.
Let alone the adding more schemes to simply fund themselves.
There's a reason there's not private funding and business interests available for these planner's visions.
They don't pencil out.
There's also a reason public approval with a new tax to fund them is never used.
Voters would never agree to a new tax or most of the plans.
If the plans have merit and are worthy of tax dollars the public should be allowed to approve them along with a NEW tax to pay for them.
The act of creating massive public debt, taking tax revenue from basic services/ general fund revenue streams to retire it,
and doing so under false pretenses and a tax funded campaign of misinformation
is official malfeasance and should be criminal.

There's no sugar coating it.
The lies used for perpetrating Urban Renewal, "Tax Increment Financing", have been many and it's use has been adopted across the country.

Google urban renewal with any derogatory word and it will pop up everywhere.

In Portland the abuse has reached epic proportions.
I'll repeat my prediction that it will soon be over in Portland.

The locales just slay me too. A bunch of diversity dweebs that ran all of the poor blacks out of that area. Now they want to rain money on it. Irony.

Sitting in front of Binks one day, sipping a beer al fresco, I watched a black-guy get a ticket for drinking his fote-ee too close to the same sidewalk. I love me some twisted up, deranged, liberals. Love 'em.

Just got this in an email now and will pass on for meeting tonight at St. Johns:

KGW is looking for folks to speak on the Water Bureau budget increases tonight's St. John's budget meeting.
Community Budget Hearing Thursday, May 20, 2010 6-8:30 pm

Parking lot available, Bus Routes 4 and 35
6:00 Sign In
6:30 Testimony on PDC Proposed Budget (20-30 minutes)

Has Portland ever retired an urban renewal area?

Even one?

I'm pretty sure that as long as they've been able to take stuff off the books, they've been leaving it off the books through different manipulations and machinations. I don't see that changing with out current city government, either.

"urban renewal/tax increment financing" is an international industry.
I know I keep harping, but look it up...'the international downtown association' will give you (if you are a city) all the info you need to start and run your very own scam. Videos, dvd, books, the works...

One of the most critical items that has to be considered in these 5 expansions of the Interstate Corridor URA is in the last sentence of the DJC article, "...reassess the performance" of the present Interstate URA.

The "performance" has been towards a failure compared to the money spent and to be spent. The 3,800 acres of present Interstate has total indebtedness (tax dollars) of $335 M. It has spent $68 M and is to retire by 2021. Travel down Interstate and see if you can see the $68 M (as of 08) spent in a few painted and renovated buildings.

Also consider another reason for the proposed 5 expansions. By expanding, additional TIF dollars (property tax dollars) will be generated by the increased areas. In the past, Interstate URA was expanded down to the Rose Garden/Memorial Coliseum area. The TIF dollars of the these 5 north expansions can easily be siphoned off to the PDC/Sam dreams to the south Rose Garden-Beer Garden dreams. How convenient. And the expanded areas could get a few painted buildings.

Yo, Fred...

Yes, I believe they have retired one. The one around the Forecourt Fountain. And when that happened, all the renters in the tall towers were turned out...unless they bought into the 'new' condoms.

Yo, Fred...

Yes, I believe they have retired one. The one around the Forecourt Fountain. And when that happened, all the renters in the tall towers were turned out...unless they bought into the 'new' condoms.

Posted by godfry | May 20, 2010 4:14 PM

Actually, they've retired South Auditorium.

Beyond that Downtown/Waterfront and South Park Blocks are expired (they are just retiring debt and spending out the rest of the money they have already sold bonds on). Airport Way has reach maximum endebtedness (i.e. it can't sell more debt unless City Council raises their debt limit).

A good place to look for information (and it's actually surprising what you find out when you actually read the documents) is here: http://www.pdc.us/pdf/budget/2010-11/PDC-Proposed-Budget-FY-2010-11.pdf

Just cut and paste the addy or cut and paste here:

Really read it. And think about it in the context of the "other" public information like bojack, DJC, PBJ, Pamplin, the O, WW, and the Merc. The dots aren't all that disconnected.

The funny thing you notice on page 63 (75 of 312) is that there is still $4.150 Million programmed for the HQ Hotel in FY 11-12 and $350K programmed for next year).

It's back because that's what one Mayor and a bunch of developers want.

Sorry - it's actually programmed for this year - the $350K. But the FY 11-12 four mil is still there.

A brief summary of the South Auditorium URA.

In 1958 PDC was formed.

In 1961 Voters approved the use of TIF dollars to fund UR.

Around 1963 SA URA approved.

About $12 Million initially in fed funds and $5 Million in local matching funds to start SA UR.

URA continued to 2004, 40 years, with expansions.

PDC claims that when SA URA expired, value added to tax rolls was $394 Million.

Here's a diluted economic analysis considering time and expenditure:

In 40 years of the existence of the URA when initial costs were $12M + $5M=$19M, in that (40 years)today's dollars it would be $133 Million. If you take in consideration of debt costs and PDC overhead and administrative cost, the number becomes much higher.

In the 40 years that the tax rolls were frozen, approximately $7.23M were lost to Portland's general fund per year equaling $289 Million. Still the debt service and administrative costs are not included.

This $100 Million dollars difference between the PDC claimed results and it's approximate cost has to be weighed in the context of "what if nothing was done in a "downtown" area in an important US city for 40 years? Wouldn't a downtown area on the Willamette River, with freeways, streets, etc. existing nurtured more than urban renewal gave us? And that isn't even making a planning, asthetic judgement of what we ended up with in SA URA. Wouldn't the average person think that the value increase would be more than $100 Million?

These numbers need scrutiny, and I hope someone, some viable group does so. But shouldn't a real independent audit be made on Portland's urban renewal districts to see if they are viable?

Now Sam has an extra $10M laying around to buy prime NW Portland real-estate for a "staging site" in case the big earthquake happens.

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