Agencies concerned about TIF districts

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

Different taxing units have concerns about a tax-increment financing district that is being proposed in Jasper.

The county is presenting a letter to city officials expressing those concerns and requests. Commissioner Elmer Brames will talk to the Jasper Redevelopment Commission about the matter at its meeting, which is set for 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Their concern “is not just that TIF district, but TIF districts in general, and what it does to the revenue for the other taxing agencies,” Brames told the county commissioners Monday.

The City of Jasper is currently considering establishing a TIF district near Vincennes University Jasper. This is for a University Heights project, which will involve a new apartment complex near the university’s campus. The TIF would also provide funding for future construction projects. The proposed district would run along State Road 162 to beyond Third Avenue near Bohnert Park.

The Jasper Common Council approved the resolution for the district at its April 21 meeting, though Councilman Chad Lueken voted no.

When a TIF district is created or declared, a base assessed value is created, taxes from that assessed valuation will go to the agencies. But any increase in assessed valuation in that district will not go to those agencies, Brames said.

“It’s basically saying from this point forward, for at least the next 25 years, any increase in assessed valuation does not get shared by the other taxing agencies throughout the county,” he said. “It is captured by the redevelopment commission, and they use it for development in that area.

“So they would not lose from where they’re at today. But they would not share in any increase.”

In the letter, the agencies request that upon capturing the necessary revenue set forth in the intent of each TIF, the city would begin releasing a portion of the incremental assessed valuation to be included in the tax base for other civil tax units and begin passing through excess revenue up to 15% to civil taxing units, which is allowed per Indiana Code.

“It’s not a great amount,” Brames said. “But it would show some concern on their part about the shortfall that the other taxing units are receiving.”

The agencies are also asking that the city officials allow TIF districts to expire on a designated date.

For the TIF district to be established, the Jasper Redevelopment Commission must give confirmatory approval for the economic development area. The Jasper Economic Development Commission must also give approval for the project.

The economic development commission was planning to hold a public hearing about the project today, but the meeting has been postponed. It will be rescheduled once project developer Ruger Kerstiens provides some needed cost estimates.

The commissioners also:

• Extended the local emergency disaster declaration to June 7.

• Heard that the county was awarded $620,114.89 in Community Crossings funds.

• Appointed Bryan Young as the county ambulance coordinator.

• Approved the veterans council’s request to use the west side of the courthouse and the courthouse bathrooms from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 29, for a Memorial Day ceremony.

• Agreed to close the Courthouse from 2 to 4 p.m. Friday, June 18, for active shooter training.

• Approved the Dubois County 4-H Council to use some of the highway department’s equipment during this summer’s 4-H Fair.

• Heard that there will be a public meeting Thursday evening concerning walking and biking paths that will be proposed in a countywide paths master plan. That meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. at the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center, 100 Third Ave., Jasper; a presentation will be given at 6 p.m.




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