Agendas and documents for upcoming Victor Urban Renewal Agency board meetings, as well as an archive of all Victor URA meeting agendas, documents, and packets, are available here: https://drive.google.com/a/victorcityidaho.com/folderview?id=0ByBnet6W6cN_UFJLak5pWEFsUmM&usp=sharing
Calendar Year Progress Reports of the Victor Urban Renewal Agency
2014 - Victor Urban Renewal Agency 2014 Annual Report
2015 - Victor Urban Renewal Agency 2015 Annual Report
Victor Urban Renewal Plan
Urban Renewal Agency Commissioners
Tom Clark, Interim Chair
Will Frohlich, Vice Chair
Erin Gaffney, Commissioner
Zach Smith, Commissioner
Lance Pitman, Commissioner
Victor Urban Renewal Agency FAQ
Where can I find meeting agendas, meeting minutes, and documents for Urban Renewal Agency board meetings?
All meeting documentation will be saved in a folder with the date the meeting was held.
What is the Victor Urban Renewal Agency? How was it formed?
The Victor Urban Renewal Agency is an independent public body, corporate and politic serving the City of Victor, Idaho.
In 2010 the City of Victor had an eligibility report written to determine whether 3 of the 4 city blocks surrounding Victor’s main intersection (Main & Center) met the state’s requirements for an Urban Renewal Agency and Urban Renewal District to form.
The eligibility report found that the condition of the 3 blocks did in fact meet the state’s criteria for urban renewal. On December 1, 2010 Victor City Council approved a resolution necessitating the formation of an urban renewal agency and designated the 3 block area as appropriate for future urban renewal activities. The eligibility report can be read here.
No further action on urban renewal was taken from 2011-2013. In 2014 the Mayor and City Council prioritized taking steps to get the Victor Urban Renewal Agency up and running. In September 2014 the Mayor appointed 5 citizens to serve as the Victor Urban Renewal Agency board of directors, including 1 City Councilman and 1 Planning & Zoning Commissioner. Victor City Council confirmed the Mayor’s appointments. In 2014 Victor City Council also allocated funding from the City’s FY2015 budget to the Urban Renewal Agency for the purpose of setting up the agency and preparing the Urban Renewal Plan.
The Urban Renewal Plan will be written by a consultant in 2015. The Urban Renewal Agency Board of Directors as well as the Planning and Zoning Commission, City Council, and the public will be instrumental in reviewing the plan’s recommendations. Leading up toward adoption, public comment will be taken during public hearings with the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council.
Example elements that the Urban Renewal Plan could cover include, but are not limited to,: upgrading sidewalks and streetlights, developing off-street parking lots, promoting or acquiring public art through public-private partnerships, and acquiring property to redevelop into mixed use office-retail-commercial projects.
What is the focus of an Urban Renewal Agency?
In the State of Idaho, an area is eligible to become an Urban Renewal District if it has one or more of the following detriments: deteriorated or deteriorating structures, defective or inadequate street layout, faulty lot layout, deterioration of site and other improvements, diversity of ownership, defective or unusual conditions of title, and conditions that endanger life or property.
Through the use of tax increment financing (see below), an Agency works with the city and other public entities to design and construct upgrades and enhancements to basic infrastructure, such as new water and sewer lines, streets and sidewalks, etc. The Agency also funds improvements to public amenities such as parks and greenbelts.
What powers does Agency possess?
The powers specifically granted by the state legislature to urban renewal agencies in Idaho are summarized below. A complete list is found in Title 50, Chapter 20 and Chapter 29 of the Idaho Code.
a. To borrower money and to issue bonds to finance urban renewal projects.
b. To undertake urban renewal projects and related activities within the agency’s area of operation including signing necessary contracts and other documents.
c. To construct streets, utilities, parks, playgrounds, off-street parking facilities, public facilities, other buildings or public improvements and any improvements necessary or incidental to a redevelopment project.
d. To acquire real property (or personal property for its administrative purposes), together with any improvements thereon; to hold, improve, renovate, rehabilitate, clear or prepare for redevelopment any such property or buildings; and to dispose of any real property. (Methods of acquisition include purchase, lease, option, gift, and grant).
e. To invest any urban renewal funds.
f. To construct foundations, platforms and other like structural forms necessary for the provision or utilization of air rights, sites for buildings and to be used for residential, commercial, industrial and other used contemplated by the urban renewal plan and to provide utilities to the development site.
As a result of the law enacted in 1988 to provide, among other things, for financing urban renewal projects with tax increment funds, urban renewal agencies were granted the following additional powers:
a. To apply incremental tax revenues allocated to the agency for the payment of the project cost of any urban renewal project located in a revenue allocation area,
b. To borrow money, incur indebtedness and issue one or more series of bonds secured by incremental tax revenues, to finance or refinance, in whole or in part, urban renewal projects and;
c. To pledge the incremental tax revenue to the payment of the principal of and interest on moneys borrowed, indebtedness incurred or bonds issued.
Urban renewal agencies have no direct regulatory authority unless specifically authorized by the City Council.
Where does the Victor Urban Renewal Agency get its authority?
The basic authority to create urban renewal agencies and to undertake urban renewal projects is granted to all cities and counties in Idaho by the state legislature in Title 50, Chapter 20, Idaho Code. The ability to use tax increment financing for urban renewal projects is authorized under the Local Economic Development Act (Title 50, Chapter 29, Idaho Code). In Idaho tax increment financing is referred to as “revenue allocation financing”.
How have revitalization projects been fund historically? How are Urban Renewal Agencies in Idaho funded today?
Beginning in the 1960s federal funds were the initial source of money for urban renewal projects in Idaho, and across the United States. As these funds were phased out in the 1970s, an alternative financing method was needed. In 1988, the Idaho state legislature adopted the Local Economic Development Act which authorized the use of tax increment financing.
Under the Idaho Economic Development Act, urban renewal agencies now receive the majority of their funding from revenue allocation, otherwise known as “Tax Increment Revenue” from tax increment financing and, in some cases, bonds or other long-term debt secured by the Tax Increment Revenue.
What is “tax increment financing” or “revenue allocation financing”?
Tax increment revenue is described as follows:
In simplest terms, under tax increment financing (or “revenue allocation financing” in Idaho), the taxes generated by increasing property values in an urban renewal district are used to pay for public improvements and other revitalization activities in that district.
At the time an urban renewal district is formed, the Teton County Assessor establishes the current value for each property in that district. This value is referred to as the “base” value. All property taxes on the “base value” continue to flow to the taxing districts within the urban renewal district, such as the county, the city, the highway district, etc. Over time, the assessed value of the properties in the urban renewal district will generally increase. That increase in value is referred to as “incremental value.” The property taxes generated by the incremental value above the base value go to the urban renewal agency to be reinvested in the specific urban renewal district.
For instance, if the Victor Downtown Urban Renewal District is approved in 2015, the assessed value of a property on January 1, 2015 becomes the “base value” and all property taxes on that value continue to flow to the usual taxing districts. If the property increases in value after the 2015 base year, the property taxes on the incremental value is distributed to the Agency.
An example would be: if a property was assessed by the Teton County Assessor as having a value of $100,000 in 2015, the property taxes on that amount would all go to the usual taxing entity since that is the “base year value”. Then, if the property value increased to $110,000 in 2016, the taxes on the “base value” of $100,000 would still go to the usual taxing entities and the taxes on the “incremental” $10,000 would go to the Victor Urban Renewal Agency for projects in the Victor Downtown Urban Renewal District. If the urban renewal district did not exist, taxes on the entire $110,000 value would go to the usual taxing entities so the total tax bill to the property owners remains the same.
Does formation of an Urban Renewal District mean an increase in taxes for properties in the district?
No; formation of a district only reallocates where the tax revenues on properties in the district go if property values increase. The tax rate on properties in the urban renewal district is the same rate as taxes on properties that are not in the urban renewal district.
In addition, Urban Renewal Agencies have no authority to levy taxes.
Whose tax dollars go to support an urban renewal project?
Only property taxes collected on properties within the Urban Renewal District boundaries support urban renewal projects, and it is only the taxes collected on the difference in value from the base year and the current year (the “increment”) that go to the Urban Renewal District.
These revenues collected within the district must be spent on projects that support revitalization of the district.
How will the Victor Urban Renewal Agency select projects to fund?
The Victor Urban Renewal Agency Board will select projects to fund that are described in the Urban Renewal Plan, which will be written and adopted in 2015.
What mechanisms are in place to ensure transparency and accountability of urban renewal agencies?
Idaho law provides numerous requirements designed to ensure transparency and accountability for urban renewal agencies, including:
a. Making records available to citizens upon request pursuant to the Idaho Public Records Laws.
b. Meetings are open to citizens, preceded by public notice and an agenda, and meeting minutes are kept pursuant to the Idaho Open Meeting Law.
c. Urban renewal commissioners are required to disclose conflicts of interest pursuant to the provisions of the Idaho Ethics in Government Act and the Idaho Urban Renewal Law.
d. Urban renewal agencies are required to comply with the provisions of the Local Government Competitive Bidding Law.
e. Urban renewal agencies have the same financial audit requirements as municipalities.
f. Urban renewal agencies must hold public hearings prior to approval of their annual budget and approved budgets must be submitted to the city prior to September 1 of each year.
g. Urban renewal agencies with annual expenditures between $100,000 and $250,000 must have a bi-annual independent financial audit, and above $250,000 an annual audit. Those agencies with expenditures under $100,000 are exempt from this obligation but must prepare the annual report described below.
h. Urban renewal agencies are required to prepare and file with the city an annual report of activities for the preceding calendar year by March 31 and publish notice of the report’s availability upon request by citizens. The report must include a complete financial statement setting forth assets, liabilities, income and operating expenses. Prior to submittal of the annual report to the city, agencies must seek public comment on the report draft either in written or public comments.