Tax increment financing isn’t complicated, but it is sophisticated. That is to say, there aren’t a lot of moving parts to the formula, but the parts that move are ones that we usually count on to stay still. The variable that makes tax increment financing (and urban renewal districts) work is human behavior over time. It’s such revolutionary thinking that one of its progenitors walked away last year with the Nobel Peace Prize. When you change the variables, you change human behavior — it’s really as simple as that. It’s becoming important again to understand how the formula works, because all of Eugene will be given the opportunity to vote on it in November, regardless of whether they understand it!
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One of these four ideas will be developed into a column on Wednesday to be published in The Register-Guard on Friday. I’m asking you to help me choose between them. Between now and the end of Tuesday, leave comments here or send me an e-mail if you’d rather be more private. Or, at the very least, RATE the idea (and the others) so I know which one people like best. No promises, though. This ain’t American Idol. But I will post an entry on Wednesday to say which one I’m choosing (and probably why.) I plan to do this each week — often by Friday, but always by Monday, so visit often and tell me which idea intrigues you the most. Thanks!