The Spokane City Council has scheduled a hearing on the formation of the University District Revitalization Area (UDRA) for next Monday, August 17, 2009.
Formation of the revitalization area is enabled through legislation passed in 2009, 2SSB 5045, and is a new form of tax increment financing in Washington state. This legislation authorizes reallocation of existing taxes – it is not a new tax. Spokane was selected as a pilot project in the legislation. This will be the only hearing and opportunity for testimony regarding UDRA.
Formation of the Revitalization Area enables incremental increase in revenue from local property tax, local sales tax, and a contribution of state sales tax to be directed toward economic development efforts within the boundaries of UDRA. As required by 2SSB 5045, projects for potential implementation are listed in the ordinance. Possible projects that may be funded in part or whole by UDRA include streetscape improvements, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, water and sewer upgrades, Centennial and Ben Burr trails, park and recreation facilities, shoreline restoration, stormwater management systems, Division Street Gateway Corridor and the University District Bicycle/Pedestrian bridge.