Urban renewal and or TIF (Tax Increment Financing), takes money that would have gone to schools, social services, fire and police. It is diverted to all kinds of Pet Projects such as Streetcars, Light Rail, and some developers, just about anything the Portland city council or any other city decides to spend it on.
It has become a slush fund for pet projects that do not have the funding or popular support. The red ink on the graph, is created when that money is moved to the pet projects. Once this money is diverted, the rest of the taxpayers in that taxing district,(such as the city of Portland) now have to make up the difference. You can find part of that, on your property tax bill, under Urban Renewal. Also new fees or System development charges, any new tax that they are able to pass. To help fill the red ink hole they created.
The $1.4 Billion Milwaukie light rail project will devour in excess of $150 million in UR dollars from Portland, Milwaukie and Clackamas County.
Along with $250 million, plus interest, form the State lottery, $140 million from Metro and $80 Million from Tri-Met. All to come from existing revenue streams for government services.
We cannot afford urban renewal or more light rail. Yet Tri-Met is about to start spending the lottery millions.
link to full size graph