Letter to the Editor

TIF earmarks extra revenue for development

Saturday, June 1, 2002

To the editor:

Tax increment financing is available to municipalities for economic development and redevelopment in blighted areas. Let's say the taxes on a piece of property are $100 a year. After improvements are made, the taxes go up to $150 a year. With TIF, $100 still goes to the schools, city and the other taxing entities. The additional $50 goes into the TIF allocation fund to pay for the infrastructure such as roads and sewers. As a result, the people who buy property in the TIF district are in effect paying for the improvements to that area. No tax money from the city goes to the project. The schools and other entities still get the same amount of money.

After the infrastructure costs are paid, all the increased revenue goes to all the various taxing entities. The theory is that if it were not for TIF, the development would not happen and new tax money would not otherwise be generated. During this process, the developer has to deposit with the city an amount to cover any TIF expenses. This has been done in the amount of $30,000. If the city council decides against TIF, then any money that hasn't been spent would be refunded.

Many things will have to occur before TIF is established. The TIF commission will review all the plans and make determinations based on many factors as outlined by law. If it is a go from the commission's perspective, then the city council will vote on whether to do the project. We are a long way from that point. I hope public hearings and more information will make us all more educated about TIF to see if it is the right thing for Cape Girardeau.

MATT HOPKINS

Councilman

Ward 5

Cape Girardeau