Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Who or what do T.I.F. districts benefit

TIF is a tool to use future gains in taxes to finance the current improvements that will create those gains. When a public project such as a road, school, or hazardous waste cleanup is carried out, there is often an increase in the value of surrounding real estate, and perhaps new investment (new or rehabilitated buildings, for example). This increased site value and investment generates increased tax revenues. The increased tax revenues are the "tax increment." Tax Increment Financing dedicates tax increments within a certain defined district to finance debt issued to pay for the project. TIF is designed to channel funding toward improvements in distressed or underdeveloped areas where development would not otherwise occur. TIF creates funding for public projects that may otherwise be unaffordable to localities.

I highlighted the above section in red to make a point, exactly who sets the values of this property ?? GOVERNMENT !! Is my house worth more because I'm close to a park ? or a school ? how about a landfill ?
The answer to the above is quite simple IT DEPENDS ON WHO IS LOOKING !! A family with children under the age of twelve might find my house more desirable because of closeness to an elementary school, however a retired couple may not want to move into an area where the kids are screaming nine months out of the year walking home from school. The simple equation that my property is worth more because of close proximity of various emergency services, grocery stores, and the like is a HUGE FALLACY generated by the real estate industry.

Instead of inflated revenues based on some government generated assumption and manipulation of the going rate in an area, why doesn't government take the existing revenues being generated in that area and convince developers to move in by creating a tax haven to move into distressed areas. Dilapidated buildings occur when industry vacates an area to move to a better location because of tax structure, infrastructure, ease of employee generations, a host of reasons. This causes the infrastructure in an area to start to deteriorate, and instead of the city working towards rejuvenation of the area they abandon it.
This creates a need for government to create a solution to wit they were the problem to begin with.

A simple solution to this problem would be to create blocks of revenue districts of which a percentage of the collected tax created by these areas are rolled back into the infrastructure of the area.

Eventually TiF's do create a stream of occupied buildings but in the mean time the city gave up a greater percentage of the tax base in this area to benefit NOT the many in the area but the few. Government should NOT use money from one business or individual to benefit some other individual or business when they are in direct competition with one another.
Generally TiF's create Community Improvement Districts which would be beneficial if the consumer was made aware that they are walking into an area that has a higher percentage sales tax to pay for the enhancements.

People complained when banks did not notify them of withdrawal fees from ATM machines, people should be made aware that the area they are in has a higher sales tax thus allowing the consumer to determine if they really want to spend there hard earned money in that area.

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