Sarasota News Leader

11/15/2013

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Sarasota News Leader November 15, 2013 the city and county and pooling it for use within a defined area. The tax revenue comes from an "increment" between the tax values on parcels when the CRA was established in 1986 and the current year's values. This year, the income is about $8 million. If the CRA were extended another 30 years, Committee Chairman Andy Dorr estimates the "increment during that time would result in about one-quarter of a billion dollars. All of it could be spent only in the defined area around downtown. Extension of the CRA will require the agreement of the City and County commissions, and probably the signing of a new memo of understanding or interlocal agreement between them. What those terms might be Page 58 has been the topic of the committee's discussions since June. 'FISH OR CUT BAIT' The committee is scheduled to report back to the City and County commissions in January. It is unclear now if it will make a presentation to each board individually, or if it will appear at a joint meeting of the boards. At stake is not just a quarter of a billion dollars, but also the fate and future of the current economic heart of the county — downtown Sarasota. Thus, the style, tone and substance of the committee's report are crucial if it expects the findings to influence the two commissions' decisions. For example, here are a few "limbs" of the decision-tree: Extend or not? For how long? Reset the base tax year? Uses Committee Chairman Andy Dorr provides an update to the City and County commissions on Oct. 22. Photo by Norman Schimmel

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