BILL SUMMARY for HB09-1070
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT
|Votes: View--> ||Action Taken: |
11:36 AM -- House Bill 09-1070
Representative Fischer, prime sponsor, presented House Bill 09-1070, concerning lands prohibited from urban renewal authorities (URAs).Representative Fischer explained that the bill modified the urban renewal statutes to limit the use of URAs to include parcels of agriculture or vacant property. He explained that the bill will allow for the preservation of agricultural land, and explained that the urban renewal statutes were originally intended to address areas determined to be slum or blighted. Representative Fischer discussed misuse of urban renewal statutes to include vacant and agriculture for URA projects and tax incremental financing (TIF) projects. He talked about the ability of URAs to implement TIF to develop projects and discussed the large increment created by improvements to agricultural land. He talked about the burden that TIF has on the state due to the obligation to backfill school finance for property tax revenue increases to school districts in Colorado. Representative Fischer addressed questions from the committee members concerning the eminent domain powers of municipalities and URAs and referred to a handout distributed to the committee (Attachment D).
Larry Hoyt, County Attorney Boulder County, and Chip Taylor, Colorado Counties Inc., testified in support of the bill and distributed a handout to the committee (Attachment E). Mr. Hoyt discussed abuse of urban renewal law and TIF to subsidize new development and discussed specific examples in Boulder County. He discussed problems with the broad definition of blight in current law and explained the changes to the definition of "blight" in the bill. Mr. Taylor and Mr. Hoyt addressed questions from the committee concerning exemptions for projects to proceed despite House Bill 09-1070.
Randy Thurston and Mike Tedesco, City of Pueblo, testified against the bill and discussed specific successful projects that were beneficial to the community of Pueblo that would not have been possible with the changes in House Bill 09-1070. Mr. Tedesco discussed the economic benefits of URA projects in Pueblo that utilized TIF and created benefits for the community.
Erin Goff, Colorado Municipal League, testified against the bill and explained the benefits of urban renewal for the 271 municipalities in the state and the 43 URAs. Ms. Goff addressed questions from the committee members concerning changes to the definitions of slum and blight made by the bill.
Nancy McNally, Mayor, City of Westminster, testified against the bill and discussed specific projects developed by URAs and TIF in the City of Westminster. Mayor McNally talked about the benefits of urban renewal and TIF that allow Colorado municipalities to redevelop areas of slum and blight.
Jan Pawlowski, Mayor, City of Brighton and Brighton Urban Renewal Authority, testified against the bill and discussed the benefits of urban renewal for promoting economic growth in the City of Brighton. Mayor Pawlowski talked about the need for cities to expand urban renewal projects into agriculture land that is dormant or unproductive.
Carolynne White, Commercial Real Estate Development Association, testified against the bill and discussed the need for URAs to have the authority to develop agriculture land. Ms. White discussed the history of urban renewal law, and talked about rural communities using urban renewal authority for redevelopment.
Karen Berry, City Council Member, City of Wheat Ridge, testified against the bill and discussed specific projects in the City of Wheat Ridge that would benefit from urban renewal. She explained that certain projects would not be able to proceed under the provisions of House Bill 09-1070.
Larry Small, Vice-Mayor, City of Colorado Springs, testified against the bill and discussed several projects by the five urban renewal authorities formed by the City of Colorado Springs. Mr. Small talked about the importance for urban renewal projects to use vacant and agriculture land and the benefits of TIF.
Kyle Dalton, Colorado Chapter of the American Planning Association, explained that the association was neutral on the bill and distributed a handout to the committee (Attachment F). Mr. Dalton discussed the consequences of using agricultural land and vacant land for urban renewal projects.
County Commissioners Kathay Rennels, Tom Donnelly, and Steve Johnson, Larimer County, testified in support of the bill and distributed a handout to the committee concerning the need for House Bill 09-1070 (Attachment G). Commissioner Kathay Rennels talked about the negative impacts of specific urban renewal projects in Larimer County and explained the need to redefine blight in Colorado urban renewal law. Commissioner Steve Johnson discussed the misuses of urban renewal and talked about the need for good planning between counties and municipalities for redevelopment projects. He responded to questions from the committee regarding agreements for revenue sharing between local entities and the benefits of implementing infrastructure improvements through redevelopment projects. Commissioner Tom Donnelly discussed issues with the limitations on property taxes when TIF projects are undertaken.
Glen Colton, Larimer County, representing himself, testified in support of the bill and discussed specific projects in Larimer County and explained problems with TIF projects creating urban sprawl. He addressed questions from the committee members concerning municipal TIF projects.
Jim Sarchet, Poudre School District, testified in support of the bill, discussed the process of implementing a mill levy property tax collection by school districts, and talked about the impact of TIF on school districts.
Ben Manvel, City Council, City of Fort Collins, testified in support of the bill and discussed problems with urban renewal being used to develop green fields and agriculture land. Mr. Manvel discussed desired changes to the bill, addressed questions from the committee members, and explained that the city council of Fort Collins is the URA authority for the city. He discussed for support for the bill's provisions to clarify the definitions of slum and blight.
Roger Hoffman, City of Loveland, representing himself, testified in support of the bill and talked about the negative impacts of TIF projects on neighboring local entities.
The chair, Representative Peniston, laid House Bill 09-1070 over to Tuesday, February 10th.