WARSAW — Warsaw Community Schools’ Board of Trustees passed a resolution supporting the establishment of two residential Tax Increment Finance districts during a special board meeting Monday, Nov. 25.
Todd Samuelson, Baker Tilly; City Plan Director Jeremy Skinner; and Mayor Joe Thallemer presented information regarding TIFs, as well as the proposed resolution, which has already won the support of Warsaw’s Redevelopment Commission, Plan Commission, and City Council.
The resolution passed with a 6-1 vote, with board member Jeremy Mullins voting in opposition.
The proposal for two residential TIF districts in Warsaw follows a new state law that allows taxing units to create tax increment finance districts to help boost residential development. Establishing TIF districts would allow the city to capture new property tax revenue and use it to provide infrastructure for residential development.
The northern district includes the Menards residential development area, Husky Trail, Shadow Lakes, and Bella Gusta. The southern district extends from CR 200S on the south end to Warsaw Community High School, and then from Shady Crest to the west and Winona Lake to the east. Eisenhower and Harrison Elementary Schools would be affected by the two proposed residential TIFs.
Money from the districts would be used in a variety of ways to stimulate residential construction that could boost enrollment at Harrison Elementary in the northern district and Eisenhower Elementary in the southern district.
At the meeting, Skinner told council members that the city is expecting to receive results from a recent housing study in the next two to three weeks. He also told council members that the primary goals of the residential TIFs are to provide more housing in Warsaw, as well as help bring in new students for Warsaw Community Schools.
“We are going to continue pushing for constant growth and success,” said Skinner.
Skinner also offered to meet with school board members annually in order to continue discussions on progress made with the residential TIFs.
“There’s not a lot of history in terms of residential TIFs since they’re new,” said Samuelson. “Being one of the first may not feel great, but you’re asking all the right questions.”
“We have roughly a two-year supply of residential lots,” said Skinner. “And that’s if we’re building 60 houses a year, but we’re not. But we want to. Right now, there are zero residential developments proposed. That means there are no new lots being created in the city of Warsaw to build on. Specifically, there are zero residential lots being proposed to be built in the Eisenhower school district. There are 38 lots available for development. How long is that going to last?
The resolution will go back to the city’s redevelopment commission in December for final adoption.