What is a C.R.A.?
Authorized by Chapter 163, Part III, Florida Statutes, a community redevelopment agency is created to guide redevelopment activities that are designed to return properties to their highest and best use and to improve the economic vitality of a specially designated area, rendering it more appealing for private sector investment. When properly administered, the general purpose of a community redevelopment agency is to reserve and enhance the redevelopment district’s tax base through development activities and the establishment of public-private partnerships.
Redevelopment endeavors are implemented through a public body, which is known as a community redevelopment agency. Community redevelopment agencies have the ability to utilize a designated funding tool, known as Tax Increment Financing, which is available to cities and counties for redevelopment activities. Tax Increment Financing is used to leverage public funds to promote private-sector activity in the denoted area or areas. When established, the dollar value of all real property in a redevelopment district is determined as of a fixed date, also known as the "frozen value." Taxing authorities that contribute to the redevelopment district continue to receive property tax revenues based on the frozen value, and these frozen value revenues are available for general government purposes. However, any revenues from increases in real property value, referred to as "increment," are deposited into a community redevelopment agency trust fund and are allocated to the redevelopment district.
Under the authority of Chapter 163, Part III, Florida Statutes, the New Port Richey City Council established the City of New Port Richey Community Redevelopment Agency on November 15, 1988 as a dependent special district to guide the City in its redevelopment efforts.
The CRA boundaries were originally established in 1988 and included the central business district or urban core of the City and some surrounding neighborhoods. In 2001, The City expanded its CRA boundaries to include all properties within the city limits.
According to Florida Statutes, the City is required to file an annual report documenting CRA projects and expenditures. The most recent report for Fiscal Year 2015-2016 can be found HERE.
What is a CRA Plan?
The Community Redevelopment Agency is responsible for developing and implementing a Community Redevelopment Plan that addresses the unique needs of a community redevelopment area. The plan includes overall goals for redevelopment and identifies programs and projects planned for the area.
Redevelopment strategies and critical tasks are included in the plan that will enable the City to stimulate and encourage economic development, provide increased public amenities and sufficiently manage redevelopment within the CRA in order to realize the City’s vision and long-term community goals.
The redevelopment plan can be updated to meet the changing needs of a community. The most recent CRA update was in 2012 and can be viewed HERE.
Who is the CRA?
The City of New Port Richey’s City Council serves as the Community Redevelopment Agency’s Board of Directors. The members for Fiscal Year 2017– 2018 are as follows:
Robert Marlowe, Chairperson
Jeff Starkey, Director
Judy DeBella Thomas, Director
Bill Phillips, Director
Chopper Davis, Director
The CRA Board of Directors work in collaboration with residents, property owners, businesses, and other community organizations to promote redevelopment within the CRA District. Priorities include economic development, public safety, beautification and infrastructure improvements, downtown marketing and historic preservation.