Superintendent Wrong About Tax Increment Impact On Schools

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I feel compelled to correct some of the misinformation contained in Russ Kinzer's Guest Commentary carried in the Roundup on April 20.

As was pointed out to Mr. Kinzer and some of his staff at the public work study session on April 6, his financial projections were based upon flawed statistics. The Town of Payson conducted its own study based upon solid research and records, and came up with a significantly different scenario.

Mr. Kinzer rejected the town's figures, as they obviously would not support the continuation of his negative campaign against the town's efforts to redevelop a depressed area in Payson. This is most unfortunate, because he has the advantage of being able to push the public's hot buttons of "harming our children" and "taxation without representation" even if they are not borne out by the real facts and figures.

I ask you to remember that we are talking about an area of town that represents less than 5 percent of Payson, but yet causes nearly 50 percent of all police calls.Its assessed valuation upon which the schools base their taxes is in all probability going to continue to receive the same amount of funding from the redevelopment area that it is getting now. If the town can raise this area out of its depressed state, then only the increase in the tax base for these properties will go to the redevelopment effort.

In response to Mr. Kinzer's allegation of "taxation without representation," let me pose these three questions. When was the last time you had any input into the annual budget of the school district? When was the last time you had an opportunity to attend a public hearing on those budgets? When was the last time you were given the right to vote on the annual tax rate increase for the school districts?

This is in sharp contrast to the Town of Payson's budgetary process, which provides for many public hearings so that its citizens can have knowledge and input to the annual budget. I would suggest you can draw your own conclusion as to which body is practicing "taxation without representations."

Please don't be swayed by emotional hand-wringing. Search out the facts, and we believe you will support the opportunity we have to redevelop the area with a history-based Main Street, affordable housing, improved streets and walkways, and a new downtown area we can all be proud of now and for our children in the future.

Dick Wolfe
Chairman, Green Valley Redevelopment Committee

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