How to designate an economic development area and the legal procedure for tax abatement was the topic of Jim Coffenberry's talk to the Brazil Economic Development Commission on Tuesday night at City Hall.
For some, like Chairman Jeff Stewart, it was probably a refresher course, for others, it was new information.
Stewart was previously president of the Clay County Economic Development Organization (CCEDO).
Coffenberry is an economic development specialist for the West Central Indiana Economic Development District Inc., Terre Haute.
In addition to helping board members better understand some tools of economic growth, Coffenberry said Tax Increment Financing (TIF) has been in effect, capturing some of the property taxes near the I-70/S.R. 59 intersection. Some of that money has helped pay for a recent water study by the city to determine capacity and need to develop that area for business and industry.
A TIF district helps pay for infrastructure improvements (such as water and sewer) by capturing a portion of additional property taxes resulting from increased property values as a result of the improvements.
"TIF is considered a 'self-financing' way to pay for economic development projects," according to a report titled, "Tax Increment Financing (TIF)" prepared by the National Association of Realtors, November 2002. "Development projects are financed with tax revenues generated by the new development. Government officials do not have to impose a new tax, but rather simply reallocate new revenues from development to pay for development costs."
Some of the TIF money will be used to extend the city sewer from that area to the new Navistar plant being built at the site of the former Red Bird garage.
"The city has water capacity to develop about 45 acres near the I-70/S.R. 59 intersection, but not enough capacity for fire suppression," Mayor Tom Arthur said.
The area is considered to have major potential for economic development because of its location near I-70 and state roads 59 and 42.
Coffenberry said Brazil could see three substantial industrial improvements in the coming year, but he was not at liberty to elaborate.
The board meets the first Tuesday of most months at 7 p.m. in City Hall. The meetings are open to the public.
On the Net:
A Guide to Tax Increment Financing (TIF) by the National Association of Realtors: