Redevelopment commission will keep all city TIF funds

The Columbus Redevelopment Commission will keep all monies collected from its four tax increment financing funds instead of making distributions to local taxing units.

The city has four TIF districts — Columbus Municipal Airport, Central, South Commons and Cummins economic development areas — that have been established. Each year, the city must consider returning some of the money back to local schools, libraries and other taxing units if a percentage is not completely used.

Four resolutions tied to the four areas were approved Monday by the commission, indicating that no money will be allocated to such taxing units. The move by the commission was required by state statute and is part of the panel’s 2018 budget process, said Stan Gamso, redevelopment commission attorney.

Since the commission has opted to keep the TIF funds, they will be used for projects next year meant to spur economic development in Columbus, said Heather Pope, redevelopment director for the city. Those projects will be determined jointly by Mayor Jim Lienhoop and the commission.

Projects will include ongoing work as part of the State Street Revitalization Project and an extension along International Drive in the Woodside Northwest Industrial Park, Pope said.

A resolution tied to the designated Cummins allocation area in the city will have to go before Columbus City Council for final approval since projected revenue and expenditures exceeds 200 percent, Gamso said. The city projects $3.9 million in TIF revenue next year, while expenses are estimated at $1.58 million.

What is a TIF?

Tax increment financing is a tool for development and redevelopment which captures increases in taxable assessed value in an allocation area and the revenue generated from that development or growth is used to finance public improvements.

Source: Indiana Department of Local Government Finance website

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or mkent@therepublic.com