Fairy Tales Used To Sell TIFs:
First, the taxes that flow from the district before the TIF is set up will continue to flow to the schools and libraries and other taxing units, just like before. Second, the project being funded is just the thing to spark other, privately funded, economic development. This boost in economic development will spur an increase in property values that will pay for everything and we'll all be better off.
Little Know Facts About Marion County TIFs:
- taxes promised to continue to flow (the "base") have been shifted over to pay off TIF bonds and expenses (the "increment") (see "Marion County's TIF Districts See Base Erode By Nearly Half a Billion Dollars in One Year"),
- tens of millions of dollars from income taxes, other TIFs, and additional property taxes have been poured into existing TIFs to shore them up (see "Big Time Bailouts of Indy's TIFs"),
- most TIF districts have been growing more slowly than the County as a whole (see "Most Marion County TIF Districts Underperform the County As a Whole"),
- existing TIF districts cause 1/3 of the circuit breaker penalty, directly causing $43 million reduction in collectable taxes and a concomitant reduction in services (see "Frist Do No Harm - Impact of TIFs - Marion County As a Whole")
Shouldn't the impact of current TIFs be considered before more TIFs are piled on? Unfortunately for all residents of Marion County, but particularly for those in Center and Wayne Township, Councillors did not ask a single question about Prop 15 at the August 27 meeting of the Metropolitan & Economic Development committee meeting. It was an appalling affair for many reasons. And the lack of prudent public representation was part of the reason it was appalling.
There is a huge impact on Wayne Township due to the existing TIFs. Of all taxable property in Wayne Township, 10.9 % is in a TIF district increment and all property taxes flow to the TIF fund and not the schools, libraries, etc.
- for Speedway government and Speedway schools, 19.1 % of total property value is in a TIF
- for Wayne Township government and Wayne Township schools, 9.5 % of total property value is in a TIF
- $175 thousand increase in circuit breaker penalty to the Town of Speedway
- $20 thousand increase in circuit breaker penalty to Speedway City School Corporation
- $1.7 million increase in circuit breaker penalty to the Wayne Township government
- $3.4 million increase in circuit breaker penalty to the MSD Wayne Township School Corporation
Of the 6 older TIF districts, there was a combined transfer of $118 million from the base to the increment. Meaning that property taxes from $118 million of property value that was promised to always go to the schools, fire department, etc, is now transferred to the TIF so that it will now and forever be deposited in the TIF fund instead.
- $5.5 million of the amount transferred out of the base was in a Speedway TIF
- $112.9 million of the amount transferred out of the base was from TIFs within Wayne Township, but outside of Speedway.
While very little of the proposed expansion of the downtown TIF appears to be in Wayne Township (the available map is grainy and very difficult to read), its impact needs to be viewed in light of existing conditions within Wayne Township and the impact of existing TIF districts on taxpayers and governmental units.