Urban Renewal is an economic development tool used to encourage private development or redevelopment in an area by utilizing tax-increment-financed public investment. Urban Renewal projects can include repurposing underutilized or older buildings, environmental remediation, constructing new infrastructure, upgrading utilities, and constructing civic amenities like public plazas, public parking, or other public facilities.
How Urban Renewal Works
Urban Renewal is an economic development tool designed to focus attention, effort, and funding on declining or underdeveloped areas of a community with specialized needs that require significant change to become economically healthy.
Urban Renewal allows an Urban Renewal Agency to build and finance public infrastructure necessary to support and attract new private growth and development in a designated area. To learn more about how those areas are chosen click HERE. An Urban Renewal Agency uses a portion of the property tax in the area to invest in strategic capital projects in the district which, in turn, invites more development. All improvements and any debt are then paid for from the new property value and tax revenue generated by the new development.
This effort also can assist other public entities in strategic cooperative projects.
When an Urban Renewal District is successful, the tax base is strengthened. When a District ends the increased value benefits both local government by providing a stronger tax base and the public by lowering tax rates. This value increase would not exist at this scale without the assistance of Urban Renewal.
Frequently Asked Questions
The State Street Study Area, located along State Street between 27th Street and N Horseshoe Bend Road, offers opportunity to build and strengthen public transit and encourage affordable housing development on one of Boise’s busiest corridors. Using urban renewal, the City of Boise, along with other governmental and community organizations, can better realize long-term visions of upgrading State Street with added public infrastructure and desirable redevelopment accommodating future growth and transportation demands.
The first step in the process is the review of the potential district area for eligibility based on state law. In May 2019, a study was completed and found the State Street area was eligible for urban renewal. The Boise City Council adopted the eligibility findings and directed CCDC to begin creating an urban renewal plan.
The second step in the process is to gather all available information and perspectives to prepare an urban renewal formation plan. The urban renewal formation plan for State Street is just beginning and will last roughly 15 months, with an expected completion date in July 2021. The formation plan includes both technical research, such as infrastructure assessments, and public engagement to gather stakeholder feedback. The process will also produce an economic feasibility study and a public improvements master plan.
The framework plan will be presented to the CCDC Board of Commissioners for approval at an open public meeting. If approved, the urban renewal plan is then submitted to Boise City Council for its consideration. If approved the State Street District will have a 20-year term.
As Boise’s redevelopment agency, CCDC is tasked with leading the planning and formation process to create the State Street District as directed by the Boise City Council.
If an Urban Renewal District is approved for State Street, it will have a 20 year term.
CCDC will have the ability to make public investments that improve the neighborhood’s public infrastructure, transportation and mobility connections, civic spaces and parks, as well as contribute to economic development projects that benefit the business community. Working together with property owners and business owners, CCDC can make improvements to streets, sidewalks, parks, plazas, trails, and underground utilities throughout the district’s term. Property owners and business owners will have the opportunity to receive financial assistance from CCDC for public improvements associated with their property and projects.
Tax Increment Financing is the economic development tool that funds Urban Renewal. When an urban renewal district is formed, the county assessor establishes the current “base” value for each property in that district. As property values rise with public and private investments the new development creates “incremental” property value. The tax revenue from that growth goes to the urban renewal agency to pay for public improvements and other revitalization activities in that district. The tax revenue from the base value continues to go to the existing taxing entities (City, ACHD, School District, etc…).
Your property taxes will not go up due to the formation of a district along State Street. The levy rate for all properties with the same underlying taxing districts (Ada County, ACHD, Boise City, Boise School District, etc.) is the same regardless of whether they are located within an urban renewal/revenue allocation district or not.
There are a number of convenient ways to participate in the district formation process. Stay up-to-date on the project by signing up email updates here. You can share your ideas about projects you want to see happen or questions you may have about the process here. We invite you to attend public meetings to learn more about the planning efforts and to share your feedback.