SYRACUSE -- Local officials have mandated that a new committee to oversee the city's Redevelopment Agency revenue will not include taxation without representation.
The council voted 5-0 to appoint Mayor Jamie Nagle and Councilmen Matt Kimmel to the new taxing entity committee, which is being set up to deal with taxing issues within RDA zones in the city.
Initially, city council officials were asked to consider appointing City Manager Robert Rice and Michael Eggett, community development director, to the committee as city representatives. The vote for Nagle and Kimmel came after a measure to appoint the staff members was defeated 3-2.
The RDA committee is a key component to a new development planned on the city's north side on a 215-acre parcel owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Ninigret Group, L.C., has signed a letter of intent to buy the land. The development is expected to house light manufacturing with the hope of bringing as many as 1,200 jobs to the city during the next three years.
The committee's task is to oversee revenue generated within an RDA zone, which affects a number of taxing entities. The group will meet once a year.
The committee will be made up of two representatives from the city, two representatives from the Davis School District, two representatives from the county, one from the state Board of Education and one at-large representative.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, Councilwoman-elect Karianne Lisonbee argued that elected officials should fill the city's seats, and that point was raised again later in the meeting, when the issue came up for vote.
Kimmel wanted city officials to delay the appointments, as the makeup of the council will change on Jan. 1, 2012. Nagle said time was of the essence in getting things in place, so the development can move forward in the spring.
"We can't stop doing business," Nagle said of delaying action until two new council members are sworn into office next year.
City Councilman Larry Shingleton stressed the need for elected officials to have a say in and responsibility for any taxing entity. He said appointing city staff would give the council no say in the process.
"Any body, I feel, that can tax the people needs to have an elected representative," Kimmel said of the issue. "Accountability should lie with people who are accountable to the people."