“In June, a south suburban Denver fire district filed suit against the urban renewal authority (URA) in Parker, Colorado over the diversion of property taxes to subsidize redevelopment projects. Also in June, news broke that the URA in Arvada, Colorado in the north metro Denver area sold a 9-acre parcel of land to a developer for $30. The land is valued at around $9 million.
These are recent examples, but the abuse of urban renewal authority, including condemnation and tax diversion, has been going on for decades. Colorado’s urban renewal law was intended to address, among other things, “slum and blighted areas” in municipalities that “contributes substantially to the spread of disease and crime,” and that constitute a “serious and growing menace” to the public health, safety, morals and welfare.
But the kind of threats from people living in sub-standard housing amidst squalid conditions the law was aimed at is basically non-existent in Colorado today. Rather than declare victory and end urban renewal, the legislature has instead allowed the definition of “slum and blight” to be creatively expanded, along with the use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) as a form of corporate favoritism.”
read the entire article
Krause, Mike. The Hill 4 July 2017.