CDA Health Corridor Update
Updated: Feb 15, 2020
The Coeur d’Alene City Council met December 3rd to vote on the Health Corridor Urban Renewal project, creating a new urban renewal district encompassing more than 200 acres of prime real estate primarily to the benefit of Kootenai Health. NWPOA is opposed to urban renewal districts, and the directors present voiced opposition to the Health Corridor Urban Renewal Project for the following reasons.
Urban renewal districts (URDs) siphon tax revenue away from public services into the urban renewal agency (URA)—in this case, Ignite CDA. The renewal agency distributes the funds to consultants, developers, and others to develop and implement plans for the various districts created by the agency board. The URA has the authority to use imminent domain to accomplish its purposes; which could mean that owners of businesses, homes, churches, and other edifices within the district could be evicted and the land taken (albeit with compensation) to achieve the agency’s goals.
In addition, diverting tax revenue from city services to the URA creates an excess burden on taxpayers—not only on those within the city, but on county residents, as well. Why? Because when the city cannot make its budget for certain services, the county is left holding the bag. The only option for the city and the county to make up the deficit is to raise taxes on property owners.
Although opposition to the new URD was the majority opinion voiced by citizens that evening, the CDA City Council deemed the arguments unpersuasive, and approved the measure—with the exception of Councilman Gookin, who sided with the citizens present and made cogent arguments against its passage, himself.