Redevelopment dings taxpayers

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The Jan. 25 editorial page contained Another View entitled “Mend, don’t end redevelopment.” (Councilman Kevin Hanley) addressed two of the several aspects of the redevelopment process, redevelopment agencies and specifically the Auburn Urban Development Agency (AUDA). The first aspect was the projects, glossing over the associated costs, which Hanley called good. The second aspect was eminent domain, which Hanley called bad. Judged on solid conservative principles, based on limited government and fiscal responsibility, redevelopment projects are bad, and, except for sections of large areas with stringent demands such as airfields or linear features such as roads or railroads, eminent domain is ugly. The taxpayers eventually must pay for redevelopment projects, which are financed by issuing bonds, and the interest and other costs of borrowed money. The taxpayers will pay for worthy projects as surely as they will pay for unworthy projects. The bureaucrats and politicians frequently use the euphemism “investments,” for spending, but a sewer smells like a sewer even if it is called a rose garden. They attempt to justify “investments,” claiming the worthy project will pay for itself in increased taxes. This is like the consumer who expects to pay his credit card bill resulting from profligate spending with his lottery winnings. The taxpayer’s children and grandchildren end up paying for the redevelopment projects while the bureaucrats and politicians receive their inflated retirement checks in Arizona, Oregon or Nevada. DAN SOKOL, Auburn