Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mid-North TIF - Developer Driven and Sans Critical Financial Details

A letter to the editor in yesterday's Star, signed by Councillor John Barth and leaders of a number of Mid-North Neighborhood Associations, claims that the proposed Mid-North TIF is not developer driven.


Developer Leif Hinterberger testified a number of times at the TIF Study Commission.  During his testimony he noted the several years he has been working with Ryan Vaughn, and also listed a number of people in the City administration who he claims promised him that a TIF would be created to fund his project.

The project is 'The Uptown', on the northwest corner of 49th & N. College; a mixed use project of retail and residential.  The southern half of the block is owned by 49-50, LLC, whose agent is Leif Hinterberger.  The northern half of the block was owned by Leif Hinterberger, but recently sold to a Tom Melangton.

Many of these neighborhood groups signed letters asking for quite a bit of public money resources to be aimed at this project.
HOME funds and CDGB grants
Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority tax credits and grants
tax abatements
infrastructure curtesy of DPW
The entire block has been subject to a very large number of high weeds and grass complaints, forced mowing and legal action in environmental court, as well as a Health & Hospital demolition order on a building at 4902 N. College.

The Mid-North TIF as proposed (Prop 291 now before the Council) encompasses over a square mile of real estate.  The footprint is known, but nothing else has been disclosed to the public.  This is another pig-in-a-poke being pushed through before full disclosure is required through the passage of Prop 316.

If you take a peek at Prop 291 you'll see next to nothing as far as information, valuable or not, contained in it.  The MDC resolution, which I uploaded to Google Docs, does have the list of 1971 parcels contained in the footprint along with a map. 

Almost 1/3 is in Center Township and the remainder is in Washington Township.  All appears to be within IPS' district.  Center Township already has 30% of all taxable property contained within the increment of a TIF district.  IPS has 22% of all taxable property contained within the increment of a TIF district - what's another 700 some acres and over 1 square mile more.

And, lets not continue with the fairy tale that only new property value will have its property taxes diverted from IPS and placed within the TIF fund.  16 of 40 TIF districts have seen their base converted entirely to increment over the years.  So there is a track record that strongly suggests a high probability that the current value of property within the footprint will partially or entirely become another dead zone for contributing to the services of IPS, and the city-county.

Yes, the proposed Mid-North TIF is entirely project and developer driven.  And it puts an unknown amount of property value at risk, and stands to drive even higher the $15.2 million that IPS qualifies for but cannot collect because of the property tax caps.

If there is financial evidence that any of this is leaping to erroneous conclusions - the City has not provided it to the public.  With a lack of evidence to the contrary, we must conclude that past performance is the only indicator of future performance that we have.


Jon said...

As my sons were growing up one of my favorite expressions was demonstrated performance, don't tell me show me. Clearly none of our elected officials follow that example. Show us how any TIF's are benefiting their areas. When 16 of 40+ TIFs aren't increasing in value then there is a problem with the logic that TIFs add value to their community.

Rather than proposition 316 we need to follow the California example and outlaw TIFs.

TIFs in Indy exist as just another slush fund to funnel scarce tax dollars to the connected few while depleting funds available for the very infrstructure they are supposed to help. It doesn't appear that proposition 291 is any different from the past failed promises we have gotten regarding TIFs and absent any details of that proposition it needs to be tabled.

Anonymous said...

You're citing Leif? Hahahahahahaha! I'm sure many promises were made in Leif own head.

Anonymous said...

Leif has been wanting a TIF in this area forever!

Had Enough Indy? said...

Leif is on the fast track to getting his project funded by a TIF in this area.

Anonymous said...

The Midtown TIF is driven by Leif??? You've finally gone off the deep end. The Uptown property is now owned by a different developer, who hasn't announced any plans for the site, except to note that he'd prefer to not have government involved. The Midtown TIF is driven by five local neighborhood associations, working together to improve the Midtown area. Leif's project has been dead for months.

Anonymous said...

The Midtown TIF is really the Broad Ripple TIF. This project aims to capture ALL the property taxes from the new parking garage there. That is the same garage that will be built with $6 million of blood money from the horrific parking meter deal. Broad Ripple has seen spike in crime but under this proposal none of the property taxes from garage will go to public safety. This is the same Broad Ripple that has kept an unnecessary expensive fire station which is drain on public safety budgets.

Had Enough Indy? said...

An alert reader sent me to the IBJ archives regarding the status of Hinterberger's property at 49th & N. College.

In May of last year, the court assigned a receiver for the property while a foreclosure action proceeds.

Anonymous said...

who cares if this tif don't help some developer... who is tryin to take taxes from Broad Ripple garage ..... uh don't cops cost $

Anonymous said...

But since the point, and title of your piece was that the TIF was "Developer Driven" and "Lacked Financial Details" regarding the developer's project, and now you find that the developer is long gone, just what was the point?

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 8:27 - the developer is not long gone. He's still listed as owner of the southern half of that block regardless of what is moving through the courts.

Anonymous said...


Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 3:27 - I hope you understand my wanting to see that posted somewhere besides this blog by an anonymous source. The Assessor's records still show Hinterberger as the owner.

CorrND said...

According to a 9/25/12 posting on Meridian-Kessler Neighborhood Association website:

The Uptown – 4901 College Ave. The Sheriff Sale took place on August 15, 2012, at which this property was transferred to SMF, LLC. The new owners have not yet begun work on a development plan.

Anonymous said...