Thursday, October 7, 2010

Indianapolis TIF District - Fund Balances

Today I post information about how much excess cash is sitting in the various TIF districts in Indianapolis. Some of the TIF names are slightly different in this document than in yesterdays, but the identity can be ascertained by using the TIF district number.

The total amount of the fund balance of all Indy TIF districts on 3/31/2010 was $91 million.

As Francesca Jarosz reported a week or so ago in the IBJ, 10% of an annual payment, or more, must be kept as 'excess' cash in some TIF districts to satisfy the requirements of bond rating agencies. I had heard 30% previously. But, otherwise, it is money that can be spent to pay debt early or engage in projects that bear fruit for the residents of Indianapolis, not just the business owners.

The consolidated downtown TIF, which was recently raided in order to send $8 million of property tax revenues to the Pacers, via the CIB, had $51 million in fund balance at the end of March. That is nearly one full year's revenue.

The airport TIF (aka the 'united TIF'), interestingly enough, had $13 million excess cash. This is interesting because the property tax revenues are just over $1 million short each year to cover the bond payments due. They cover the shortfall with County Option Income Tax revenue. But, if this cash is sitting there, then why not save the COIT funds for other uses?

Also of interest to my eye, is that a retired or 'dormant TIF', has a pretty big bankroll sitting there. That is TIF district number 640, named the 'Dow Elanco' TIF in yesterday's document, but the '86th Street TIF' in this one. There is over $8 million sitting in that old TIF. Now an excellent question is, WHY? Does someone think that it is a slush fund for every time Dow Elanco wants another financial assist from the taxpayers? Shouldn't that money be returned to the usual property tax recipients - like the Pike school district, the Library, Pike Township government, IndyGo, etc?

Likewise, two other 'dormant' TIF districts have some money sitting in them. Perhaps the residents of those areas have some idea for good ways to spend that money that will enhance their quality of life?

$91 million dollars is a sizable pot of money, even if these weren't tough economic times. But, this money and the future handling of the many Marion County TIF districts should not be in the hands of only one person - that being the Mayor. It is time for a community discussion on the proper uses of TIF revenues, and for who should have say in how that money is spent.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Anyone know what happened to Cathy Wiseman's house that was to be sold at tax auction?