A Resurrection For Redevelopment?

Voters and elected officials adopt policies on assurances of beneficial impacts, but they often interact with other decrees to produce what are called “unintended consequences.”

Redevelopment has been a classic example for nearly seven decades, and it may be on the verge of another twist.

Redevelopment, authorized in the early 1950s, was aimed at encouraging local governments, cities mostly, to clean up neighborhoods deemed to have “blight.” They would invest in sewers, water systems and other public works that would draw in private investment.

To finance projects, local governments would float bonds and repay them with “tax increment financing.” As property taxes in the improved project areas increased, the revenue gains could be retained by the sponsoring local governments.

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