Community Redevelopment Agency
The Boynton Beach City Commission established its Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) in August, 1981, in accordance with guidelines of State Statute Chapter 163. In May, 1982, the Commission created the original CRA district which included 180 acres in the downtown area, pursuant to Resolution 82-KK. At that time the Agency's responsibilities were of an advisory capacity and fell under the authority of the City's Development Department, reporting to the City Manager's office.
In October 2000, the City Commission was desirous of transferring the responsibilities of the Community Redevelopment Agency to civilian members as an independent board and staff with authority distinguishing the Agency from other advisory boards reporting to the City Commission. This goal was part of an overarching objective from the public visioning process which resulted in the Community Redevelopment Plan and specifically Visions 20/20. Civilian members were appointed to the CRA Board in December of 2000.
The CRA subsequently expanded its boundaries and in 2006, updated its mission statement to reflect its purpose of serving the community by guiding redevelopment activities to create a vibrant downtown core and revitalized neighborhoods within the Agency's district which is comprised of 1,650 acres along the eastern portion of the City.
In 2007 Boynton Beach City Commissions voted to revert Agency oversight from a seven-member independent board back to the City's governing body (City Commission). This decision and corresponding resolution to execute this action did not in any way affect the Agency's legal status. It should be noted this decision only effected the role of the City Commission, which is now responsible to govern the City as well as sitting as the CRA Board.
Presently, the CRA Board is legally accountable to not only the City Commission, but also the Palm Beach County Commission, the State of Florida Department of Community Affairs, the Palm Beach County Tax Appraiser and the State of Florida Auditor General.
The Boynton Beach Community Redevelopment Agency is funded through Tax Increment Financing (TIF). TIF raises tax revenue for development efforts without raising taxes. When the CRA was created, the value of the property in the CRA district was established as the base year' amount. Property taxes received in subsequent years over the base year amount continue to go to the City and County. The City and County then pay the increment, or the increased value over the base year, back to the CRA for redevelopment purposes.
Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
The non-exempt ad valorem tax base from the CRA is frozen the year the Community Redevelopment Plan is adopted (July 1 deadline each year). Any increase in taxes goes to the CRA. Tax revenue increases because redevelopment increases the value of the property. Without redevelopment, the tax revenue would continue to decrease as the area becomes more and more blighted. When the Plan has been implemented, the tax base for local government will have been significantly increased.
Powers of the CRA
Powers of the CRA are contained in Section 163.370, Florida Statutes. Redevelopment activities include, but are not limited to:
- Adopt a community redevelopment plan or plans that outline projects and programs that will be undertaken by the CRA
- Secure finances to further redevelopment efforts and projects
- Acquire and hold property in the redevelopment district
- Demolish buildings
- Dispose of property
- Installation, construction, improvement and repair of streets, utilities, parks, infrastructure in accordance with the community redevelopment plan(s)
- Create and implement development incentive strategies and other unique public-private partnerships to stimulate redevelopment activity within the CRA district facade and residential improvement grants
- Market the CRA
- Implement community policing innovations
- Solicit proposals for redevelopment and enter into contracts
- Appropriate funds and make expenditures as necessary to carry out the purpose of the Community Redevelopment Act of 1969
For more information, please call (561) 737-3256 or log onto www.catchboynton.com