Wednesday, May 29, 2013

BRVA Lie About TIFs Gets Exposed by Blogger's Explanation of the Increment Versus Base

The other day at the Broad Ripple Village Association meeting on the new Browning/Whole Foods proposed development, I heard a BRVA rep and Browning representative repeat the lie often told about tax increment financing districts, that only the new taxes are captured in a TIF...the underlying base remains.  Pat Andrews has a lengthy piece on a new TIF law passed by the General Assembly this session, which alert reader Thomas Heller from Columbus caught.  I will leave it to you to read Pat's blog about the changes in the law.  I posted below an excerpt exposing the aforementioned lie:
A reminder on the jargon - the base is supposedly set on day 1 of the life of a TIF district and is the total value of all property then existing within the footprint of the TIF district.  The fairytale always told is that that value will remain in the base and the taxes derived from it will always and forever flow to the schools and libraries and cities and towns.  The increment is supposed to be all the growth in value due to new construction and redevelopment (not just inflation).

The reality is that each year, the County Auditor must submit to the State Department of Local Government Finance, a form for each and every TIF district that recalculates the base.  We have seen considerable erosion of the base of our TIF districts in Marion County over the years due to the calculations handled on these forms (TIF neutralization forms), with base value being converted forever into increment value.   Such is our problem here in Marion County, that 16 of our 40 TIFs have seen their base drop to zero, including 5 of 6 components of the much vaunted consolidated downtown TIF.
Mark Small has a report on the BRVA meeting I attended as well as BRVA's attempt to approve the project at a non-public committee meeting that got derailed when the public showed up.  Again, if you want to see the worst "neighborhood" association in the City, attend a BRVA meeting...assuming they let you come as most meetings of the developer-dominated group are not open to the public.

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