Commission established to capture TIF revenues



County commissioners opted to establish a redevelopment commission Tuesday, giving the county the potential to capture revenue on new development and increased property values in designated districts.

Commissioners waived the second and third reading of the ordinance to establishing the commission and then voted 3-0 to adopt it.

The five-member commission will be able to create tax increment financing districts throughout the county except in areas where districts have already been established by cities and towns. Seymour, Brownstown and Crothersville all have tax increment financing districts, aka TIFs.

In TIF districts, tax money is captured from new industrial development or increased property values located in the district. That money is set aside to fund infrastructure or redevelopment or provide incentives to promote economic development in a community rather than being distributed to other taxing units.

Commissioners also appointed three members to the commission for one-year terms. Members of the board are not paid.

Those appointees are Mark McKinney with Jackson County REMC, Jerry Hounshel, a former commissioner and sheriff, and Commissioner Drew Markel.

Commissioners also appointed Brownstown Central Community School Corp. Superintendent Tim Taylor to the commission as a non-voting member.

On Wednesday, county council members appointed council President Dave Hall and Councilwoman Kari Storey to the redevelopment commission.

County officials conducted a special meeting in July to receive public input on TIF districts. No one from the general public spoke in favor or against the proposal during that meeting.

A timetable on when exactly the commission will formally go to work is unclear, but Markel said the process usually takes a couple of months.

The push to create the redevelopment commission came as the county has expressed interest in capturing TIF dollars made on new investments since January. If the county establishes a redevelopment commission before the end of the year, it can capture investments made within the calendar year.

That would include a $10 million investment made by Sims Bark Co. in Crothersville that is expected to bring between 20 and 30 jobs to the county. While the town of Crothersville has its own redevelopment commission, the operation is not located within town limits, and officials cannot annex it in the year prior to a U.S. Census, which is planned in 2020.

Markel said if the county does not establish the district, then all communities will lose out on the funding.

"We miss out on a lot of TIF money if we don’t move forward with it," he said.

Markel told commissioners Matt Reedy and Bob Gillaspy that he and officials from other communities organized a meeting to form a "loose agreement" to make sure TIF districts set by the county’s redevelopment commission and the municipal redevelopment commissions do not adversely impact each other. 

Councilman Brian Thompson said during a meeting Wednesday that the goal is for the county and municipal governments to work together.

“We want to make sure we are not really causing issues with overlapping," he said.

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