Less money for schools ... so that a private, for-profit developer can get a big tax rebate.
Thanks for nothing Arvada Urban Renewal Authority.
In today's Denver Post -- more on how Arvada Urban Renewal diverts tax dollars that should go to schools, libraries, APEX, etc., for the benefit of a commercial project.
'Solana Olde Town Station' is to be a 350 unit, 18 building apartment complex that will be built on land situated north of 56th Avenue between Wadsworth Bypass and Lamar Street; the developer will get a government tax kick-back so that they can make money on their private property.
In the Olde Town Arvada urban renewal zone, free markets in local real estate, entrepreneurship, and free enterprise are given only lip service; corporate welfare is the true coin of the realm.
'Tax increment financing' or a TIF is the government mechanism where the Arvada Urban Renewal Authority (AURA) rebates back to the private developer the property taxes above the initial 'frozen' base. Since the land is essentially worthless now because of soil contamination, all of the rising land value that will come from the clean-up and development will go right back to the developer and to AURA to the tune of at least $7.2 million; it won't go to the school district or the recreation district, or the fire district, or your local library.
This kind of so-called "public-private" scheme is going on all over Arvada ... from the Walmart subsidy to the Hilton Hotel handout to the monstrosity being constructed at Wadsworth Bypass and Ralston Road.
To demonstrate the topsy-turvy world of government fat cats, the Denver-resident director of Arvada Urban Renewal actually says in the Denver Post report that "The developer is paying their way, they're paying property taxes and then getting reimbursed for cleaning up a contaminated site." Say what?
Paying their own way would be for the developer to pay for the clean-up as a cost of doing business and then pay their property taxes like everybody else to support our schools.
This TIF racket is quite simply unfair to every other business and every homeowner in Arvada who pay their taxes without rebates. Solana Olde Town Station will undoubtedly become home to many children, but the developer will end up paying very little on the increased value of the property to help fund the public schools those children will attend.
Remember, this is the same kind of plan that AURA wants for the Hilton Hotel.
It is time for change in Arvada.
It is time for a city government that is as honest, as fair, and as good as the resident of Arvada.
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