Watch Dick Jones question Redevelopment Director Rob Zur Schmiede about the availability of tax increment monies in the proposed extension area. Zur Schmiede responds that because of the merger with an existing area money would be available “immediately.” And Jones is off to the Camp Town races, perhaps not realizing that his Redevelopment director was only talking about existing funds – not new property tax increment. All he heard was “immediately.” So he sits up, pleased as punch, like he had just discovered radium. Uh–mmediately! Well, Land ‘o Goshen! You cain’t hardly beat uh-mmediate! Instant gratification – a predictable desire in a child; embarrassing in a septuagenarian.
The reality is that even if the Redevelopment extension survives a legal challenge, the depressed real estate market and property tax re-assessments will likely create a flat or even a negative increment for the near to mid-term future within the amendment area. This means that any Redevelopment funded projects here would have to dip into the also diminishing increment in the pre-existing project area. So why doesn’t Jones grasp this? Because the Redevelopment Agency has arrived upon the scene to cure all that ails us. HOT DAMN! IMMEDIATELY!
Is this really the guy we want making this decisions for us?