SOC supporter plays What if game

August 28, 2006

questionEmail received – everything in () is from the email author:

Dear Sir :

Regarding the current proposal for the Fetterman Maritime Museum and Community Park ,  it has been recently reported that “Only the taxes from the property owners now living within the current CRA zone will be used to finance that $70 million park.”

But what if ?

After   the election, our downtown leaders decide to shift the CRA zone to the west from its present boundary (the area below Cervantes from A St. to 17th Ave)  to Pace Blvd (or even to W St. as once reported).

If that happens, will the property owners in this new CRA zone then be responsible for paying off the $70 million debt –money which could be spent on something better, perhaps —for the proposed waterfront stadium and park in 30 years?

Instead of those now living in the present zone ?

If  the voters of Pensacola –especially those living on the west side of town where most of the blighted areas exist (such as the Cervantes St. Corridor just east of  Pace Blvd) — had the answer to that question , perhaps we property owners now living outside “the zone” would better know how to vote on the upcoming Referendum (and election) on September 5th.

Personally, I presently plan to vote “No.”

(As I think the current concept (and design) for this park could be greatly improved on a third proposal (perhaps with more citizen input). )

Sincerely,

Ralph C. Peterson
A  long time resident (and taxpayer) of Pensacola.

_____________________________

Response:

1) The debt is $42 million – not $70 million. Like Mr. Fairchild and Mr. Donovan, you want to include the interest as part of the debt. The interest is a cost of the borrowing – just as it is for your home or car. If the bonds are paid off early, the interest paid will be less than $30 million.

2) The projected CRA revenues generated by the current district are more than adequate to make the annual payments on the bonds. Once a CRA district’s boundaries are set, it’s very difficult to change …it’s nearly impossible. So your “what if” will never happen.

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3 Responses to “SOC supporter plays What if game”

  1. Richard Hawkins Says:

    I support expanding the CRA to include the entire city limits. It is a bluff, to get better cooperation between the County and the City.

    I got idea from a speech by Marty Donovan.

  2. westside cra Says:

    There is already a finding of necessity study underway for a westside CRA. if approved it’s boundaries would be the limits of where that cra’s revenues could be spent. the county has several cra’s and each cra’s revenue can only be spent within that cra’s boundaries… a new cra in the city would be no different. and i don’t think expanding boundaries is an option – only creation of a new cra.

  3. Courtney Says:

    Richard, what would the ramifications be of the entire county eventually becoming covered by CRA districts?

    It seems as though any neighborhood has the ability to form a CRA/TIF district. What’s stopping them from doing so? It seems like after a while all neighborhoods would eventually see the benefits of creating their own district to redirect a portion of their property taxes towards their respective areas.

    I could see where this would be a good idea since it would create some competition between districts to draw more people/business with the entire city/county benefitting.

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