Sunday, July 29, 2007

TDDs: Who's watching the money and who's calling the shots?

TDD or transportation development districts are used by developers to recoup for the cost of the added infrastructure needs their development generates. This is usually by charging an added sales tax to all the patrons of businesses that are part of that commercial development. Many see this is taxation without representation. Proponents of TDDs will tell those opponents they could shop elsewhere. But how many citizens know which developments have these special districts? It is not posted anywhere and only after a purchase is made will the consumer know of its existence. Another problem, brought up by Karl Skala, 3rd ward councilperson of the Columbia City Council during a campaign forum this spring, is that TDDs are dictating how Columbia is growing. He believes that the city should have more oversight and input on how Columbia should expand. So not only is this a taxation without representation issue, it's also an urban sprawl without city oversight issue as well.

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