On Monday, October 30, 2017, the Coos County Board of Commissioners held the second hearing to discuss renewing of the county’s urban renewal plan for another twenty years. The board had to continue the meeting until December 13, 2017, because the Director of the Port of Coos Bay did not submit the suggested changes to the URA plan until a few hours before the meeting.
The urban renewal agency is a county entity, but the UR area is on the North Spit, so the Port of Coos Bay manages its finances and directs the projects under the authority of the board members of the Coos County Urban Renewal Agency.
Some of those changes included adding an ending date out to 2038 and eliminating the special levy. The levy is a direct tax paid for by all the property owners in the county, approximately $0.0229 per $1,000 assessed value goes toward the CCURA Special Levy. The URA Board also lowered the amount of the agency’s allotted maximum indebtedness from $60,900,390 to $37,169,510 over the life of the district. The projected tax increment financing revenues over the 20-year life are supposed to be around $32.4-million.
The UR agencies projected revenue is the money that would normally go to ten other regular taxing districts.
Operations and overhead costs are among the allocations listed in the Tier 1 category. Approximately $500,000 would go to Special Studies and planning, $181,369 would go to Financing Fees, and another $660,000 would go to Administration. Those speculative figures will change due to increasing cost overruns.
The CCURA has been around since 1986. By next June of 2018, the agency will have a whopping $1,011,500 on hand as the anticipated bank balance. A good portion of that funding should have gone to the several taxing districts that the UR area is overlapping instead of sitting idle while county roads deteriorate and jail beds lay vacant. Those other districts provide essential services to the people of the county, such as roads, schools, and law enforcement to list a few. The UR agency has not undertaken a major project since 2014, which was the safety improvement at the Trans-Pacific Parkway railroad crossing.
There are 79 taxing districts in Coos County, seven of which are urban renewal districts. Five urban renewal agencies supervise those seven UR districts. Those county UR districts retained 5% or $3-million annually from the revenue collected by the county in property taxes from all the districts, which in FYE 2017 was $65.2-million. $3-million is roughly the same amount of taxes designated to the county’s ports and libraries. The county, which is a taxing district itself, loses roughly $300,000 annually from the general fund due to the drainage of the Tax Increment Financing process.
Urban Renewal and the process of TIF is a scheme to circumvent funding from the necessary county services while rewarding the agency that is taking the money in the first place. Many of the beneficiaries of this process are supporters of Commissioners Cribbins and Sweet, so they have no incentive to stop the drain until the people demand a change.
To find out more information go to CoosCountyWatchdog.com.
Coos County Board of Commissioners FINAL VOTE on Extending the URA Debt
Information on the Campaign to Shut Down the Coos County Urban Renewal Agency
Coos County Republican Party Resolution Opposing School Bond Measure #6-166
Coos County Proposed Ordinance Adopting North Bay UR Plan ~ FOREVER
Coos County Commissioners Hearing on Extending the Debt of the North Bay URA
Cribbins & Sweet Utilize Voter Suppression on Urban Renewal Extension