Wednesday, December 19, 2007

TIF Talk At Statehouse

Senate TIF proposal endangers ‘golden goose'
Link (JG)

"Various officials testified Tuesday that three major provisions of the bill would effectively kill TIF districts in the state.

The first would allow residents to remonstrate against a TIF bond. That means it would take just 100 signatures to effectively delay a project enough that the interested business would walk away, said Jerry Stilwell, attorney for Gibson County in southern Indiana.

He noted that officials there used TIF as part of a package to lure Toyota to Indiana in the mid-1990s and that wouldn’t be possible under the bill as written.

“Ours is a success story for TIF districts,” Stilwell said. “I guess somewhere in Indiana there are TIF districts that aren’t working. But I don’t want you to kill the golden goose.”

Another key change in the law would limit the expansion of these districts. The bill would prohibit enlarging the boundaries of a district unless the existing area does not generate sufficient revenue to meet the financial obligations of the original project.

Under this provision, Fort Wayne officials likely would not have been able to expand the Jefferson Pointe TIF district to include the downtown area for the Harrison Square development.

And Mike Howard, the Noblesville city attorney, also testified that the bill would require that an area be blighted to create a TIF district. This would mean cities and counties could not use tax increment financing on farmland, effectively making it a tool only for urban areas."


Kevin said...

From Masson's Blog:

"State wide, according to LSA, about 2.4% of assessed value is in TIF districts.


It seems to me that the tendency is to continue with economic development uses of TIF money once the original project is completed. When you crunch the numbers at the end of any given TIF project, the reduction to taxpayers generally by letting the TIF district expire is minimal — usually a couple of bucks. The development that can be accomplished by keeping the TIF district probably seems much more attractive. But, on the other hand, I suppose it all adds up. "

My concern is that with everyone SO riled about property taxes, the legislature will have a knee-jerk reaction.

Making changes to TIF would be such an action.

John B. Kalb said...

It is unwise examples, like the extension of the Jefferson Illinois Road EDA to include Harrison Square and the use of TIF revenues from the successful Jefferson Point Shopping Center to illegally buy land before the approval of an extension, that is going to "kill the golden goose". Travesties like these will lead to "killing" the proper use of TIF areas to support expansions like the GM Truck & Bus plant in our county. If you agree with this, please let our senators know how you feel on this important subject - AND DO IT NOW

To contact David Long &/or Thomas Wyss:
go to
click on "general assembly", click on "legislators", click on :senate(by diastricts), go down to #15 & #16, click on one or other(Wyss or Long), then click on "contact"
Fill in the form and leave your comment. Let's let these senators know how we feel about misuse of TIF revenues!
Thanks! John B. Kalb