A question still before City Council is whether or not to abolish urban renewal. Councilmember Doug Clark has been strong in his support of abolishment. He continues to raise concerns about the poorly written urban renewal plans. At the study session on August 23, 2016, he mentioned the “lie” that was disseminated in the city of Littleton about tax increment financing (TIF).
Going all the way back to the Urban Renewal vs Urban Legend meeting that city council sponsored at ACC on October 28, 2014, he read from the brochure:
“Creating a TIF does not reduce property tax revenues available to schools, parks or county services. TIF projects receive only taxes derived from future development that would not have occurred without creation of the TIF.”
This statement means that TIF would only be collected if and when a project happened in an urban renewal plan area. To date, there are no projects in any of the four plan areas yet TIF is being collected. In 2015 The TIF collected was just over $250,000! So what happened?
The law was implemented as intended. How could council say that there would not be any taxes diverted from the schools, parks, and county? The answer is simple – they did not understand the way TIF works.
The bottom line is that of the approximately $250,000 taken, over $159,000 belonged to the school district. But it was instead given to urban renewal even though there are no urban renewal projects. Unless city council repeals urban renewal, this giving money intended for schools to urban renewal will continue until the year 2039! And again, urban renewal has no projects to spend the money on. When and if a valid urban renewal project comes along, City Council can bring it back.
Take a moment and send emails to city council members to abolish urban renewal so that money stops being taken from Littleton Schools.