Canyon County’s primary Economic Development mission is to proactively create and maintain a high-quality of life for all our citizens. To continually evolve as a County where people and businesses prefer to reside and visit. Our department will foster responsible economic development activities that result in industry growth, agribusiness, job creation, job retention, an expanded non-residential tax base, sustainable natural resources, tourism/agritourism, and an improved quality of life.

Economic Development is a process through which the County, its Commissioners, private businesses, and other partners work collectively to create better conditions for economic growth and employment generation. Economic Development is more than just infrastructure, employment, tourism and new buildings. It is a pathway to self-sufficiency, and a fiscally sound community. This will be a long-term and sustained effort to build the County’s ability to improve its economic future and the quality of life for all our residents for generations to come.

Canyon County is Idaho’s second-most populous county. Caldwell and Nampa are the largest cities, and both are ranked in the top 5 in population. Nampa ranks 3rd, and Caldwell ranks 5th in the state. Canyon County has the 4th largest agricultural sector in Idaho with almost 275,000 acres in farms, and is home to the Snake River Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) and Sunnyslope Wine Trail. The Sunnyslope Wine Trail has 17 wineries and vineyards that produce award winning wines.

Top activities in Canyon County include wine tasting/tours, shopping, hiking, cultural activities, exceptional culinary experience, agritourism and much more! We have thriving downtowns exploding with activity for tourists and residents to enjoy. For more information, take a look at the Canyon County Brochure.

Caldwell is the first major city and western entrance to the magnificent and picturesque Treasure Valley. Caldwell is located on the beautiful Boise River. A community of friendly, sincere people are here to live, work and play with, so get connected, get involved, and become a great part of this wonderful community!
 
Caldwell is the home of two colleges, two -golf courses, a Green Belt walking path, bicycle and walking paths throughout the community, many parks, a swimming pool, ball fields and courts, and playgrounds in every park. 
 Source: City of Caldwellwww.cityofcaldwell.org 

Caldwell City Information >

WELCOME TO GREENLEAF, IDAHO!  The quiet community of  Greenleaf (pop. 812, 2020 census) is in the Treasure Valley of Southwest Idaho, 30 miles from the State Capital of Boise, Idaho.  Greenleaf is  on State Highway 19, five miles west of Interstate 84 at Caldwell, Idaho and five miles east of US 95 at Wilder, Idaho.
 
Settled by Quakers in the early 1900s and home to the Greenleaf Friends Academy, Greenleaf is close to both the Boise metropolitan area and rural Idaho farmland – a great place to live and raise a family!
Source: City of Greenleaf, www.greenleaf-idaho.us

Greenleaf City Information >

Melba, the Seed Heart of America.
Melba is a small farming community, nestled in the Snake River Valley of Southwest Idaho. This town is surrounded by vast agricultural lands growing a diverse variety of crops which include potatoes, beans, sugar beets, onions, corn and grain. Known as The Seed Heart of America, Melba area farmers excel in growing seed crops for onions, carrots, peas, beans and sweet corn seed as well as alfalfa and clover.
 
We would like to extend a warm welcome to those thinking of purchasing a new home or just relocating out of the hectic life of the “asphalt jungles.” Although small, our community offers all the amenities that retirees or a growing family needs, such as community celebrations, great public K-12 schools, a grocery store, restaurants, several church denominations, QRU facilities, a local fire district, and our own medical and dental clinics. Major medical services and shopping malls are available 20 minutes away in nearby Nampa with excellent highway access.
 
This area is a sportsman’s dream come true, due to the close proximity of fishing in streams, rivers and mountain lakes, camping, boating, hunting, hiking, horseback riding, snow and water skiing, and other sport opportunities.
Source: City of Melbawww.CityofMelba.org

Melba City Information >

Welcome to the City of Middleton. We are a community full of friendly and sincere people in the heart of the Treasure Valley. The oldest settlement in Canyon County, Middleton was named for its location between the Keeney’s Ferry and the old fort Boise which was the halfway point between the two sites. It was a rest stop for those heading for Keeney’s Ferry and included a stage station in the early days of the Oregon Trail. A  post office was built in 1866 and a water powered grist mill was added in 1871.
 
The wide open spaces, rolling hills, stunning Boise River valley, low crime and rural surrounding makes Middleton an attractive place to live.  It is also just a half hour commute to downtown Boise. Housing is affordable and the public schools have a great reputation.
 Sources: City of Middleton, Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/cityofmiddleton/ and Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middleton,_Idaho

Middleton City Information >

Nampa takes pride in their local food, places, history, landscape and businesses.
Location…Location…Location
Nampa is located about 20 miles west of Boise along Interstate 84. Nampa is a principal city of the Boise-Nampa Metro area (Idaho’s largest metropolitan area), and is centrally and ideally located to reach all western U.S. markets.
 
Nampa is known for its successful food processing, agribusiness and manufacturing companies, but also has attracted a large mix of retail and restaurants. The City of Nampa’s targeted industries of food processing, agribusiness, technology and manufacturing continue to flourish. Back office/shared services, recreation technology and healthcare are industries that are emerging quickly. The city is located just 400 miles from the seaport terminal of Portland, OR, and 360 miles Northwest of Salt Lake City, UT. Nampa’s central location allows a market reach to over 66 million consumers within a 750-mile radius. The Boise airport is located less than 20 minutes from Nampa and handles more than 3 million travelers each year.
 
Livable, Connected Community That Brings People Together.
In Nampa, you will do more than live and work, you will thrive in an environment rich in endless natural beauty, local history, culture and economic well-being. From excellent health care facilities to cultural institutions, vibrant public spaces to nature and recreational opportunities – Nampa has the key factors for a great quality of life. 
 
Many successful world-class companies have chosen to locate in Nampa – this includes companies like: Amalgamated Sugar, Plexus Corporation, Great American Snacks, Woodgrain Millwork, Fleetwood Homes, Union Pacific Systems, Sorrento-Lactalis, Materne North America, Mission Aviation Fellowship, ON Semiconductor, Heartland RV and many more.
 
Passionate About Education
An outstanding selection of K-12 education opportunities exist within our community, along with a plethora of post-secondary educational offerings, including Boise State University, Northwest Nazarene University and the College of Western Idaho provide new and growing companies access to training opportunities, not to mention a large pool of trained employees in the Boise Valley.
 
So…WHY Nampa?
 AFFORDABILITY – Low Business Costs and low cost of Living
FRIENDLY BUSINESS CLIMATE – Fast permitting, competitive fees, and a very welcoming staff
WORKFORCE – Young, talented and growing
UNBEATABLE QUALITY OF LIFE – Everything you want and need in a big city minus the big city feel
EXCELLENT EDUCATION – This area has more than 14 institutions of higher education
DEDICATED TEAM – An Economic Development Team that puts you #1.
Source: City of Nampawww.CityofNampa.us Please see their Economic Development Department’s website

Nampa City Information >

Notus is one of eight cities in Canyon County in the State of Idaho. It is considered the smallest town in Canyon County due to its size and population. It is located  5 miles west of Caldwell and Interstate 84 at exit 26. It is 8 miles east of Parma on Highway 20/26. The Union Pacific Railroad runs east to west through Notus between Highway 20/26 just north and the Boise River just south. The city business district runs along the north side of the highway the length of the city limits. Across the tracks is agricultural industry with a few homes. North of  the business district are single family homes of architectural designs dating back to 1904.
 
Providing a less congested lifestyle, this quiet rural town is a short drive into the country. A large, silver-colored sphere water tower stands high above a park and can be seen from a distance. Surrounding the city are rich vibrant fields of tree groves, seed crops, onions, potatoes, corn, alfalfa and sugar beets. A patchwork quilt of farmland carved into the landscape creates a colorfully array of texture and design. Sheep and cattle dot the green pastures with occasional horses and haystacks.
The City of Notus is home to a Public Library, Community Center, Post Office, Museum, and 2 Parks which are all available to the Public. Services not provided in the city are easily accessible within 10 miles of Downtown Notus. There are many outdoor activities within 15 minutes of Downtown Notus. Some of these activities include: walking, biking, fishing, boating, hunting , and wildlife viewing.
Source: City of Notus, www.NotusIdaho.org

Notus City Information >

In 1912, William Baldridge opened a hardware and buggy shop in Parma. In the last decade, an estimated 5 million dollars worth of business infrastructure improvements have been built within the Impact Area of Greater Parma. That original company’s heritage continues to this day in the name of Parma Company and Agri-lines. The legacy of Parma’s early businessmen is alive and well in the twenty-first century.
 
From state-of-the-art onion storage to new and remodeled agriculture equipment production facilities, a new pharmacy and dental offices, Parma is where growth is occurring. If you are looking for the small town feel, with acreage lots available, with low student to teacher ratios, lower cost of real estate but within good striking distance of all of the best southwest Idaho has to offer, Parma is a good choice. Its distinctive placement at the junction of two rivers, the Union Pacific main line, US Highway 95, and 15 minutes from Interstate 84 render it ideal for growers, shippers, manufacturers, commuters, and travelers.
 
Nearby rivers and public lands provide excellent opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. Parma residents can enjoy fishing, hunting, boating, camping, hiking and ATV and snowmobile riding within a short distance from the city. There are at least five sportsmen’s access locations to the Boise and Snake Rivers within five miles of the city.
Source: City of Parma, www.CityofParma.org

Parma City Information >

Our city was incorporated for the second time on December 10, 1997 (for information on Star’s first incorporation visit the city’s History of Star page).  The date was commemorated by the Idaho State Legislature with the issuance of Senate Joint Proclamation No. 101 which reads in part:
 
“As poets have honored the beauty of the stars in the galaxy, the Idaho legislature honors it’s very own Star. While it only twinkles in size to many other Idaho cities, its residents have an inner warmth of goodness, friendliness and community spirit. We are confident these qualities will shine forth like diamonds in the sky, as the new City of Star takes his place as one of Idaho’s shining examples of good and wise municipal government.”
 
2022 is our 25th year as a city, and these words continue to ring true.  Star remains a beacon of goodness, friendliness and community spirit that draws people from all over the U.S. in search of a place to call home.  Whether you’ve lived here your entire life, or are one of the many people that have recently relocated to Star, we want to personally welcome you and hope that you will take the time to get to know your neighbors, wave at a stranger, enjoy one of our parks, take a walk along the Boise River or volunteer with one of the many committees and organizations that serve our community and make it an awesome place to live.
 Source: City of Star, www.staridaho.org

Star City Information >

Wilder is a small farming community which is nestled in the western side of Canyon County, Idaho near the Oregon border. The city is surrounded by vast agricultural lands growing a diverse variety of crops which include potatoes, sugar beets, onions, corn, grain, and mint. This area is unique in one crop, as it is known for growing “hops” which are used in the brewing of beer.
 
Our community offers all the amenities that retirees or a growing family needs, such as Community celebrations, great public schools, K – 12, a library, restaurants, several church denominations, QRU facilities, local fire district, and our own medical clinic. Major medical services and shopping malls are available 10 -20 miles away in nearby Nampa/Caldwell with excellent highway access. This area is a sportsman’s dream come true, due to the close proximity of a local golf course, fishing in streams and mountain lakes, camping within an hour’s drive, hunting some of the finest game around, snow and water skiing, and other sport opportunities.
 
We are proud of our city and would like to extend a warm welcome to those thinking of purchasing a new home or just relocating out of the hectic life of the city. Our community is experiencing growth with several new housing developments in our area to offer affordable housing to those who would enjoy rural living with the “big city atmosphere” of Boise only miles away, should you desire some added excitement. “Come Grow With Us.“
Source: City of Wilder, www.CityofWilder.org

Wilder City Information >

INTRODUCTION TO URBAN RENEWAL

Why Urban Renewal and Revenue Allocation Financing is important for Economic/Community Development

The State of Idaho provides limited options for cities and counties to use in financing site preparation, infrastructure and other needed funds to address deteriorated/deteriorating area and incentives for business attraction/retention/expansion.  Revenue allocation financing allows communities a potential revenue stream to address certain community needs such as extending water and sewer lines, street improvements and other improvements required to remedy the deterioration and underutilization of the identified areas.

Background

The Urban Renewal Law was originally passed by the 1965 Idaho Legislature. The law allows a city or county governing board to designate areas for urban renewal projects aimed at eliminating or preventing deteriorated or deteriorating areas and developing and revitalizing underutilized areas. An urban renewal agency, governed by a board of commissioners appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council, is responsible for overseeing implementation of urban renewal plans that outline the necessary projects for specific areas.

Urban Renewal Agency Authority

  • Local Economic Development Act, Title 50, Chapter 29, Idaho Code
  • Idaho Urban Renewal Law of 1965, Title 50, Chapter 20, Idaho Code
  • Idaho Constitution – Article VIII, § 4, Art. XII, § 4

Limitations on Urban Renewal Agencies

  • An Urban Renewal Agency is constitutionally prohibited from funding real property improvements to privately owned property (including non-profit agencies) and granting funds to private entities (including non-profit agencies)
  • An Urban Renewal Agency can fund real property improvements to real property owned by another public entity (either local, state, or federal) and may grant funds to another public entity
  • Urban Renewal Agencies may only expend public funds for the benefit of the public. The Agency should be cautious in considering funding improvements to private property or formally participating with private entities as a partner, joint venture, etc.  Funding could be ultimately deemed a loan or grant or gift to public funds to the private property owner and thus a violation of the Idaho Constitution.
  • Idaho does not permit its Urban Renewal Agencies to grant tax money to private interest for development or to lend its credit to back loans to private interest
  • An Urban Renewal Agency must demonstrate that TIF funded improvements were primarily beneficial to the public
  • If actions challenged as unconstitutional, the agency could face substantial risk of costly litigation and potentially an award of costs and attorney fees
  • A secondary constitutional provision also addresses limitations on a public entity to provide a donation, raise money, loan its credit, or aid any company or associate

How does Urban Renewal/Revenue Allocation financing work?

  • When a revenue allocation area is formed, property valuation is calculated on a parcel-by-parcel basis. This is the base assessment roll of the revenue allocation area
  • Base assessment roll for the geographic area under consideration cannot exceed 10% of the current assessment taxable value for the entire city
  • Due to redevelopment, it is anticipated the property values will rise. If property values increase above the base value, the added value is called the increment
  • County Assessor sets property values
  • County determines tax rate needed to produce budget submitted by City, County, and other taxing districts
  • Tax rates applied to full value of property outside revenue allocation areas; to the base value of property inside the revenue allocation areas
  • Property tax revenue from the increment value, if any, goes to the urban renewal agency for a limited period of time (usually 20 years)
  • The increment or revenue allocation that goes to the urban renewal agency is used to pay for improvements within the urban renewal district
  • An urban renewal agency does not determine property valuation or tax rates
  • Funds received by an urban renewal agency for a given revenue allocation area must be spent in that revenue allocation area (with limited exceptions)
  • Funds are invested in activities that are intended to increase prosperity of the revenue allocation area
  • Result is often an increase in property values which would not have otherwise occurred but for redevelopment

Steps to Creating a Revenue Allocation Area

  • Designate a study area for potential creation of an urban renewal district
  • Determine whether conditions within the study area meet the criteria established in State Law and meet the required findings in an eligibility report
  • Agency Board concurs with the conclusions of the eligibility report and forwards it on to the decision-making body
  • City Council/BOCC receives the plan and refers it to the Planning and Zoning Commission for a determination that the plan is consistent with the City’s/County’s Comprehensive Plan
  • City Council/BOCC refers the plan to the affected taxing entities and provides at least 30-days’ notice of the public hearing
  • Planning and Zoning Commission determines that the plan is consistent with the City/County Comprehensive Plan
  • City Council/BOCC hold public hearing; determines whether to adopt plan and form the revenue allocation area
  • City Council/BOCC adopt the plan, including a revenue allocation financing provision, by ordinance
  • Generally, the plan approval process takes about 6 months for a clearly defined project; oftentimes can take 12+ months
  • The decision makers must demonstrate that the proposed area and plan of work is financially feasible
  • Must determine that the combined base assessment value of all existing urban renewal districts and any proposed urban renewal districts does not exceed 10% of the total community assessed value
  • Owners of “agriculture lands” and “forest lands” must provide written consent.

What are the Powers of URAs

Funding activities in the Revenue Allocation Area must be consistent with the Urban Renewal Plan…qualified projects include:

  • Construct/reconstruct streets, utilities, parks, recreation facilities, off-street parking and public facilities, public buildings and other improvements
  • Acquire and dispose of property or buildings
  • Improve, renovate, clear and prepare for redevelopment properties or buildings
  • Acquire property to eliminate unsanitary or unsafe conditions, lessen density, eliminate obsolete or other uses detrimental to public welfare
  • Invest and borrow money, issue bonds, and accept loans and grants
  • Work cooperatively with other public entities
  • Facilitate local improvement districts (LIDs) and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs)

Project Financing Options

  • Pay-as-you-go
  • Developer reimbursement agreements
  • Owner participation agreements
  • Conventional bank loans
  • Bonds

(Usually no tax increment available to fund projects on a pay-as-you-go method within the first couple of years after the adoption of the plan…Often projects require immediate construction of infrastructure which would trigger the developer reimbursement agreement or other noted method)

Transparency and Accountability

Idaho law provides numerous requirements designed to ensure accountability and transparency for Urban Renewal Agencies, including:

  • Making records available to citizens upon request pursuant to the Idaho Public Records Law
  • Meetings are open to citizens, preceded by public notice and an agenda, and minutes kept pursuant to the Idaho Open Meeting Law
  • Urban Renewal Commissioners are required to disclose conflicts of interest pursuant to the provisions of the Idaho Ethics in Government Act and the Idaho Urban Renewal Law
  • Urban Renewal agencies are required to comply with the provisions of the Local Government Competitive Bidding Law
  • Urban Renewal agencies are required to have the same financial audit requirements as municipalities
  • The budget for the upcoming fiscal year must be approved by the Urban Renewal Board of Commissioners following public notice and public hearing
  • Urban Renewal Agencies are required to prepare and file with the city an annual report of activities for the preceding calendar year and publish notice of the report’s availability upon request by citizens. The report must include a complete financial statement setting forth assets, liabilities, income and operating expenses.
  • Prior to financing a project, there must be a showing that the project is economically feasible and a determination that applicant is credit worthy

The Public Benefits of Urban Renewal and Revenue Allocation Financing

  • Job creation from attracting new businesses as well as secondary and tertiary development and jobs
  • Underutilized and deteriorated or deteriorating properties returned to productive use
  • Infrastructure expansion and upgrades that enhance capacity for surrounding areas and community at large
  • Improvements to local transportation systems which benefit the entire community
  • Increasing local tax base enabling property owners’ opportunity for lower levy rates in the future
  • Generation of increased sales and income taxes from successful project, which would benefit the entire state
  • Providing greater tax base for entire community at the “sunsetting” of the Allocation area
Kate Dahl

Kate Dahl

Division Manager

Tammie Halcomb

Tammie Halcomb

Economic Development Specialist

Steve Fultz

Steve Fultz

Development Services Director

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