WARSAW — The majority of the Warsaw Redevelopment Commission held yesterday, Nov. 5, was spent discussing TIF districts. Warsaw City Planner Jeremy Skinner presented a public hearing on the impact TIF districts have in Warsaw.
He explained that Tax Increment Financing districts are created as a means to finance economic development projects by capturing the tax increment generated by the proposed development. The associated TIF increments generate the funds needed to make infrastructure improvements within the district necessary to entice future economic development projects.
The primary TIF impacts include taxes collected and the tax rate. Secondary impacts are jobs created; commercial and residential growth; and income, sales and payroll taxes collected.
To help quantify the local impact, Skinner compared two local TIF Districts. He compared the Northern TIF district with the recently annexed 420-acre Airport Industrial Park. The current assessed value of the Northern TIF is $140,000,000 while the Airport Industrial Park is at $20,000,000. Taxes generated by the Northern TIF is $2,800,000 while the Airport Industrial Park generated $260,000. Growth from 2015 to 2017 for the Northern TIF was calculated at $18,000,000 and the Airport Industrial Park’s growth was $200,000.
“You can tell it’s a pretty good argument that if you don’t have TIF, you’re not creating development,” said Skinner. “And if you’re not creating development, you’re not creating assessed value. So the theory that this growth will occur without the improvements, investments that we’re making through our TIF districts … it doesn’t exist. Everybody would rather have the $18,000,000 and not the $200,000. Not only because the $18,000,000 creates a broader tax base, but mostly because it’s how our community grows, it’s how it continues to thrive.”
Skinner explained that the true impact of local TIF districts included growth, investments and jobs. “All of those impacts are positive, not negative,” said Skinner. “And when these TIF districts expire, they’ll have a true impact on the community and the investments they’ve created, the jobs they’ve created and the tax rate in the future as the investments we make roll off and are collected by all taxing agencies.”
Warsaw Mayor Joseph Thallemer also commented on the local impact. “The impact that TIF has on our community, as Jeremy so wonderfully explained, has to do with the growth and development and not the fact that someone’s getting squeezed out of some tax dollars, because it’s minimal, it’s not one for one.”
The only member of the public present for the public hearing was Joni Truex, representing Kosciusko County. No public comment was heard.
In other news:
- The board approved various claims, most of which were bond payments.
- A contract with Umbaugh was approved for services of bond oversight.
- The next meeting will be held at 4 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3.