Roseville should reject Twin Lakes
deciding whether to move forward on the proposed
redevelopment recently endorsed by the Pioneer Press, the Roseville City
Council’s primary responsibility is to protect the public interest.
residents and business owners need to be aware that developers Rottlund Homes,
Roseville Properties, and Welsh Companies are requesting more than $47 million
in public subsidies, including tax increment financing.
to what the July 26 Pioneer Press editorial suggests, the costs of environmental
clean-up are only a small fraction of what taxpayers are being asked to pay –
just under $8 million of the proposed $47 million subsidy. Approximately $18
million would subsidize the costs of land acquisition, allowing the developers
to buy the property at less than market value, with taxpayers paying the
difference. The developers also
want the city to raise taxes for other
residents and businesses to reduce the tax burden on the retail portion of the
put the $47 million subsidy request in some perspective,
’s annual property tax revenues are only about $10 million a year. The City
Council is still struggling to adjust
’s budget to absorb recent losses of state funding.
A $47 million subsidy for a private, for-profit development is simply not
appropriate. The Council should
just say “no” to this fiscally irresponsible proposal, and get back to other
a matter of economic and public policy, the Council should not subsidize any
more large scale retail development in
. The current
proposal includes a Costco store and shopping center at the corner of
and County Road C. This
’s Master Plan for the
area, which specifically recommends against big box retail and mall development
at that location. A Costco and
retail center would significantly increase traffic congestion and decrease the
quality of life in the surrounding residential neighborhoods. It
would create air, noise, and light pollution, require large parking lots, and
increase demands for police and fire protection.
These substantial costs to the community go well beyond the costs of
building the new development itself.
use of public money to support more retail in
cannot be justified on economic grounds. Retail
development does not produce the high quality, living wage jobs
should be trying to attract. It is
questionable whether more retail development would create any meaningful
economic growth at all. With the
volume of retail already in
, large new developments would simply draw shoppers and tenants away from other
should work to maintain its current retail base, instead of unfairly
subsidizing competitors. How do
residents benefit if taxes are used to subsidize a giant retailer at the
expense of our local small retailers?
subsidies should be used only for identified public needs that the free market
will not support.
has no public need for more large scale retail development.
Rottlund Homes claims that a big retail engine is necessary to successful
housing development in the
area. But since there has not been
any open bidding or requests for proposals from other developers, the City
Council has not explored other alternatives that might better fit the
increment is not “free” money – it is tax revenue that would otherwise be
available for the city to use for the benefit of the whole community, used only
to support the costs of private development.
Nor is tax increment financing risk-free.
Using tax increment financing for retail development is a bad idea,
because the profitable life of retail developments is often less than the 20-30
year period it takes to generate the additional taxes needed to finance the
development costs. If so, the city
and its taxpayers are left responsible for paying back debts secured by the
future taxes that never materialized.
Roseville City Council should reject this costly proposal, and reconsider the
city’s willingness to entertain subsidy requests for big retail projects.
Providing cheap and convenient shopping is not a good reason for putting
our city’s finances, retail community, and residents’ quality of life at