Friday, August 05, 2005

South Side Works called into question

A new report by the Allegheny Inst, a conservative think tank, makes some sense and needs close examination:
One reason for the tax revenue shortfall is that the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) still owns the four parking garages within the SSW project’s footprint, rendering them tax exempt. The estimated loss of taxes from the tax exemption is calculated to be around $700,000. Presently, the URA is still waiting for private sector bids on the parking garages, but to date none have been made.

Of course we have some serious parking problems. The best way to fix things in this realm is to sell off the Parking Authority assets. Liquidate the Parking Authority. But notice, now the URA is doing Parking. We've got mixed missions among the various authorities.

That web they've woven is complicated and just needs to be cut apart.

The Port Authority does PARK and RIDE lots. The URA does Parking Garages. The Housing Authority does land leases to private developers. The Stadium Authority holds debt from Three Rivers Stadium -- that is long gone. The Water Authority does redevelopment deals.

When the government officials do the redevelopment efforts then the developers and builders become the rules. Roles have switched.

We need to simplify. We need smart solutions. We need to have government worry about the governing and not the other follies.

Who runs this town?

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