• Bill Raines

Residential TIF Considered for Mitchell - Mitchell Housing Project

MITCHELL - (February 12, 2022) - The Lawrence County Redevelopment Commission is considering four projects that the RDC is considering on supporting.

  • Road construction/ improvements inside/outside Mitchell City limits

  • Construction of a 50,000 square ft. shell building for economic development

  • Assist Marion Township Fire Station construction in shortfall funding

  • TIF Housing Project

At this point in time there is only discussion whether to go ahead with the TIF Housing project. The way to fund the project also is under discussion which will either use existing funds already available to the RDC to purchase the property or use bonds.

The RDC revenue came from the sale of Dunn Hospital which allows them access to $1.4 Million or enter into an agreement with the property to pay after the completion of the project.

Revenues from the $600 Million Lehigh project may not start generating the revenue until 2025 to 2026 depends on when the property tax assessments and first year tax abatement is complete.

What is a Residential TIF district?

Tax Increment Financing ( TIF) is a method of financing costs associated with public improvements such as streets, sidewalks, sewer, water and real estate development.

The TIF encourages development to construct buildings and make other private improvements on a site that without TIF funding would otherwise not be developed.

Another proud sponsor of the Lawrence County Zephyr

A residential TIF district would allow a city to capture new taxes generated by new development and use them to help finance the development. Once the TIF district expires, then Mitchell will receive the full benefit of the property taxes on a much higher property tax base than would otherwise have been present without the developments.

TIF districts are popular but controversial means for counties, cities, and towns to pay for infrastructure intended to promote economic development. A bond is used to fund the project.

In Indiana TIF use have increased from almost nothing in 1990 to 7.3 percent in 2015. Most of the use of TIF activities increased from 1990 to 2011.

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Indiana added Residential TIF in 2019.

TIF can be effective only if it adds to the total to the debt issued by counties, cities and towns. Otherwise TIF debt merely replaces other forms of debt, meaning that infrastructure could have been financed without TIF.

Among Indiana counties TIF adds to the total debt and total infrastructure spending up to about $800 a person. Between $800 and $1,400 debt per person, however TIF debt appears to replace other forms of debt.

In research of TIF across the United States and Indiana it appears that TIF is more likely to increase property values than it is to increase employment.

However, housing has been a focus of using residential TIF districts.

(Revenues from the Lehigh project is not expected to start generating revenue to the Lawrence County RDC until 2025-2026)

In a recent Regional Opportunity Innovative study indicates that 108 low-income and affordable rental units are needed in Bedford to meet the demand.

Overall, there is a total need for 362 new housing units in Bedford by 2030, 145 of those being rental occupied.

In the recent " Talk with the Legislators" Representative Chris May who is a strong supporter of Residential TIF told attendees there are several vacant properties that are not in use and just sit there. With the amount of housing needs they are we need to find creative ways to get these empty properties and houses in use. Many are owned by properties outside the State of Indiana who do not even know those properties even exist, according to May.

Lawrence County Zephyr will continue to follow developments from the Lawrence County Redevelopment Commission.

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