Monday, August 6, 2012

TIF Study Recommendation #4 - Council Vote On Excess TIF Revenues

The fourth of what I view as a common sense recommendation of the TIF Study Commission is the one requiring approval by the City-County Council for any expenditure of excess TIF revenues of $1 million or more.  (click here, scroll to page 22 of the pdf; next to last item)
d) Require Council approval for any transfer from a TIF account that exceeds $1 million, unless it is a bond payment.
Of course this makes complete sense.

Had this recommendation been in place, the $8 million that goes annually to the Pacers from the excess funds in the consolidated downtown TIF would have gone to the Council for a vote.  Likely, the Council R's would have been strong armed by Ryan Vaughn to rubber stamp the Mayor's decision, but at least they would have been on the record.

In 2011 alone, along with the Pacers' payment, the Council would also have had to vote on:
$9 million to the Georgia Street project
$3.5 million to the Bush Stadium project
$4.6 million to Angie's List
$3.5 million to City Market project
In 2012 they would have had to vote on some, if not all, of the $40 million being taken from the TIF to balance this year's budget, under the guise of repaying the City for downtown infrastructure improvements.

This kind of oversight is prudent, increases transparency, and gives the public a better chance for evaluating and commenting on the expenditure.  Without it, the excess funds serve merely as a slush fund for a sitting Mayor who is more interested in handing out public funds for private projects than retiring debt and the TIF paying off that debt.


guada210 said...

Please refresh your readers why we gave Angie's List 40m.

Had Enough Indy? said...

quada - Its $4.6 million. Sorry, I do not know what the money went to. I know the discussion included the company's desire to purchase more property - the price of which had gone up on the rumor of an expansion. But, I don't know if it went to infrastructure to the company. I don't know if they got an abatement along with this 'investment' of public dollars.

Anonymous said...

There should never be excess funds in a TIF (other than for cash flow purposes). Excess money should be used to retire bonds so the TIF can be terminated.

Anything else is just stealing. Stealing from the present and the future. If they could figure out how to do it, they would steal from the past, other dimensions and alien planets.

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon - I could not agree with you more. Retiring the TIF should be goal #1. If there are extraordinary circumstances calling for a deviation from that goal, then it should be substantiated with copious amounts of data.