Sarasota News Leader

12/13/2013

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MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS Browsers at the fine arts show in downtown Sarasota in late November probably would have said the city no longer showed any signs of 'slum or blight.' Photo by Norman Schimmel THE COMMITTEE STUDYING THE SARASOTA COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY DEBATES CONTINUED USE OF REVENUE FOR CITY OPERATIONS INSTEAD OF FOR PROJECTS IN THE DEFINED AREA By Stan Zimmerman City Editor The big decisions have all been made, and the outline of the recommendations for the future of the Sarasota Downtown Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) are clear. It will not be your father's CRA. defined downtown area became a benchmark; any increase in city and county revenues due to rising millage or valuation increases above the base year accrued to the CRA. I would like to think we can The basic scheme communicate clearly that our committee put together in 1986 is fairly concerned over the growth of will remain, accord- CRA expenditures towards operations …. ing to the committee Bill Russell members appointed Member to review the agency. Community Redevelopment Agency Extension Study Committee T h a t y e a r 's p r o p erty tax revenue in a T h e Sarasota City Commission was the sole arbitrator of how the money would be spent. Between the CRA's inception and Aug. 1 of this year, the "tax-increment financing" scheme pulled in $98,992,963 — yes, nearly $100 million since 1986.

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