Lincoln City City Councilors Monday night went back-and-forth, back-and-forth over what parts of Lincoln City need an economic shot in the arm.
Two areas of town got a lot of attention – Nelscott and Roads End. The Villages were also part of the mix. Nelscott rose to the top mainly because of its manufacturing and other industrial potential. The Villages because of new construction, and Roads End because of it’s need for infrastructure like street re-do’s, storm drains and the water system.
Other parts of Lincoln City were also mentioned, but the council seemed to be focusing on those areas that could give the city the best rate of return on their “urban renewal” tax investments.
Here’s how it works. Every year the city levies property taxes. And every year those taxes go up, however marginally. When the city council enacts an urban renewal area like Roads End or Nelscott, the city steps in and draws the tax line on a particular year – say 2020. Starting in 2020, a specific area continues to pay normal increases in taxes, but that increase from 2020 going forward is applied to municipal bonds which can be used for streets, storm water, drinking water, sewer and other utilities – money, by-the-way, that is no longer available to any other part of town. The North Lincoln Fire Chief was on hand to remind the council that if they move forward with investing the annual “tax increment” in a specific area, it’ll have an effect on the Fire Department’s budget and the budgets of other government agencies like police and schools.
The city council did not make any firm decisions on any of this other than to say they’re going to continue to confer with a highly skilled urban renewal consultant who has been evaluating all of Lincoln City for purposes of targeting improvements which typically accelerates growth in terms of population, jobs and the overall economy.
The city council decided to continue discussing the issue at a city council meeting next month.