Study of Interstate North TIF area available to public
by Terra Temple
Nov 21, 2012 | 463 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The area designated as Interstate North took two steps closer to becoming a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district and a Business District after unanimous votes from the Metropolis City Council when it met Nov. 13.

Their first vote made the TIF and Business District eligibility studies available for public review. The information can be seen at the City Clerk's Office, the Metropolis Public Library or the city's website, www.cityofmetropolis.com.

The second vote authorized Economic Development Resources (EDR), a community planning consultant, to proceed with completion of the Interstate North TIF Redevelopment Plan and Interstate North Business District Plan.

EDR's GIS project manager Julian Jacquin was on hand Nov. 13 to present the information on the TIF district and the Business District, which cover the same area — the Interstate 24 cloverleaf, excluding farmland west of Pizza Hut and north of Super 8. Jacquin explained that farming the land made it TIF ineligible. "As such, we took the opportunity to change the boundary of our area," he said, to include some of the undeveloped parcels of U.S. 45 "we would like to see developed," including the property in front of Woodhaven and the former fueling station property.

Under state statutes, the property is eligible for both TIF and Business District designations for a combination of factors defined in the statutes. For TIF, that specifically includes deterioration, structures below minimum code, lack of community planning and lack of growth and equalized assessed value. For the Business District, the process goes a step further — first in finding eligible factors including deterioration of site improvements, unsanitary or unsafe conditions and conditions which endanger life or property by fire or other causes; then, a combination of those factors have to make the area an economic liability, a social liability, an economic underutilization of the area or a menace to the public health, safety, morales or welfare.

The goal of the TIF and Business District designations is to generate further revenue to develop the area.

TIF works for incremental property tax. When the TIF is put in place, an assessed value is set. As development happens within the area, the property value of the area grows and the taxes paid on the incremental value go toward a fund the city controls. Those funds can then be pumped back into the area for its development and redevelopment.

Through the Business District designation, the council can impose up to 1 percent additional sales tax on the sale of general merchandise within the district. That money is collected by the city and put back into the district to help with its development and redevelopment.

"The two districts work hand-in-hand together," Jacquin said. "You can have them overlap. You can use money from each program together for individual projects. You can use for one project part TIF, part Business District because one makes its money off property tax and one makes its money off sales tax, They're two independent programs and two different sources of money."

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