County officials will explore the idea of establishing a tax structure aimed to strengthen development throughout the county during a special meeting on Monday.
Members of the county council plan to gather information about tax increment financing, commonly known as TIF, at 6 p.m. in the Jackson County Courthouse Annex at 220 S. Walnut St. in Brownstown.
In a TIF district, tax money is captured from new industrial development or increased property values in the district and is set aside to fund infrastructure, redevelopment or incentives to promote economic development in a community rather than being distributed to other taxing units.
Dave Hall, council president, said he called the meeting because each council member needed to be educated on the topic and the council has to formally meet if three or more gather in one place. He said there will be lawyers and financial advisors to answer questions at the meeting, which is meant to be informative.
Hall said he hopes the session will provide council members with enough information to weigh the pros and cons of establishing TIF districts.
“I want everyone to be on the same page and have any questions they have answered, plus in order to all get together, we have to have a meeting,” he said. “I want to make sure we know what we’re doing before we pursue this.”
During a recent meeting of the council’s finance committee, members discussed funding options for the county’s roads and bridges leading to a discussion about TIF districts.
Hall said he brought up new investments in county that could have a potential impact on funds if TIF is implemented.
Hall said investments by Jackson County REMC, Crane Hill Machinery and Fabrication and Sims Bark Company mulch business were investments that were discussed.
“That’s around $40 million in investment coming to the county this year,” he said.
If the council votes to create TIF districts, then the county can capture funding from those investments this year.
Hall said it does not change anyone’s taxes, it just changes where tax money from new investments go.
“No one gets cut anything, this is just on the new investment,” he said. “The old values that would be there before will still get their growth and whatever growth will go to the underlying units.”
If the county adopted TIF districts, officials would have to form a redevelopment board which would be responsible for overseeing the funds.
Hall said the exit off Interstate 65 at Uniontown could be developed with the money. He said officials could look to the future and develop an electric car charging station.
“Some say in 30 years there could be more electric cars out there than those that run on gasoline,” he said. “You need the infrastructure for them to charge and right there is an opportunity on Interstate 65 that we could lead to develop.”
Hall said it will be several years before the TIF funding would be substantial because each of the investments from this year received tax abatements, which incrementally increase property taxes.
“It’s going to take awhile because the abatements will have to come off,” he said.
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What: Jackson County Council special meeting to discuss TIF districts.
When: 6 p.m. Monday
Where: Jackson County Courthouse Annex, Brownstown.