THE UNKNOWN GOVERNMENT
California is tagged as one of the most liberal states in the nation. What is done on the West coast will eventually find its way to the Midwest. Usually, we think in terms of “way-out trends” coming from California but there is a lot of common sense we can learn from the problems they have already encountered.
Orange County, California elected official Chris Norby, in his book “Redevelopment: The Unknown Government,” reveals a government that does not have to have public approval to attend to business. This 40 page book, first published in 1996 before Norby became a Supervisor in Orange County, has seen nearly 60,000 copies of this book distributed and each year an updated version is released.
Having 18 years experience as a City Councilman in Fullerton, CA, Norby knows first hand the problems development brings to the taxpayers and the community. This book, sponsored by “Municipal Officials for Redevelopment Reform,” should be required reading for every official in every state. “Redevelopment: The Unknown Government” can be read on line at www.redevelopment.com.
If Californians are fed up with property taxes and TIF districts, corporate welfare, expenditures and indebtedness, eminent domain, housing and all that goes with the redevelopment establishment, how long will it take other states to wake up to the scams used in the development circles. Who really profits from eminent domain seizures and TIF Districts?
It is time we began to get our thinking straight. Our tax dollars were never meant to be dumped into private ventures such as development. Our tax dollars were meant to provide needs for the public such as schools, libraries, fire districts, police and other civic services.
Below is one of the many illustrations you will find in the book. The kid, who is one of the “city fathers,” is no match for the guy trained to give the sales pitch. This guy could sell ice cubes to Eskimos and the kid thinks he is in a candy store.
Following the disturbing Supreme Court ruling last week on Kelo vs. City of New London, Connecticut, which gave the right of rich development over homeowners, it is time to find out what is behind all of the pushing and shoving in property rights.
Norby’s book tells about the “unknown government” currently consuming 10% of all property taxes in California. It has a total indebtedness of over $56 billion. “Unlike other governments, it can incur bonded indebtedness without voter approval.”
The book is full of simple to understand charts with the evidence of what the unknown government represents…..and it is not for the benefit of the taxpayer.
In California, Norby says the “unknown government” is supported by a powerful Sacramento lobby and backed by an army of lawyers, consultants, bond brokers and land developers. Your state no doubt has its own supporters ready to line their pockets. It doesn’t take long to figure out development is not really coming to your town to benefit you, but someone will reap the profits at your expense.
It is important to understand this unknown government provides no public services. “It does not educate our children, maintain our streets, protect us from crime, nor stock our libraries,” Norby states.
Anyone involved with a TIF district realizes this tax money does not go back to support any of the above public needs as the property taxes stay in the development area for up to 30 years or more.
What I loved about the book is it gives solutions to the problem. So many times we know we have the problems but we don’t know where to begin to do anything about it. Jane Chastain has written a book entitled “I’d Speak Out on the Issues if I Only Knew What to Say.” So many times we do nothing even when we know there is wrong being done, because we simply have no idea what to do or say.
In the chapter, “What you can Do,” Norby spells out how to use local activism and statewide activism. He encourages county and school officials to be more aggressive in appealing redevelopment tax diversions. He advocates state legislation and controls be placed on the widespread abuse of eminent domain.
The final chapter tells how to reclaim redevelopment revenue and give it back to the police department, public schools, public works, health care and for the people rather than big business.
illustrations in this book tell the story. It is time to follow Orange
County California’s lead this time. They should know because “they
wrote the book.”
© 2004 Joyce Morrison
- All Rights Reserved
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Joyce Morrison is a weekly columnist and news reporter for the Illinoisleader.com, an online conservative news source. She also writes for SOWER magazine, NewsWithViews.com, as well as various other publications. She is a weekly participant on the teleconference of the Illinois Policy Institute, a conservative think tank and is a pro-life, pro-family activist.
Morrison attempts to educate the public regarding the dangers coming to their local communities through Sustainable Development and Agenda 21 programs which are designed to gradually take control of all private property through undue regulations.
She is a chapter leader for Concerned Women for America as well as Secretary to the Board of Directors of Rural Restoration/ADOPT Mission, a national farm ministry located in Sikeston, MO. FarmersRuralRestoration.com. Her most enjoyable time is spent teaching a senior adult Sunday School class which is a focus on hope and encouragement.
Our tax dollars were never meant to be dumped into private ventures such as development. Our tax dollars were meant to provide needs for the public such as schools, libraries, fire districts, police and other civic services.