Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

March 5, 2013

TIF area may triple in size

Debbie Blank
The Herald-Tribune

BATESVILLE — With Steak ’n Shake, O’Reilly Auto Parts and Batesville Urgent Care all planning to open near the I-74 Batesville interchange in 2013, Mayor Rick Fledderman wants to take advantage of extra property tax dollars they and other future businesses will generate.

In 2010, Batesville leaders created a 57-acre Tax Increment Financing allocation area located between I-74 and State Road 46 from the eastern edge of Hillcrest Estates to the road leading to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church Cemetery. It also includes a portion of the interstate, McDonald’s and an adjacent lot plus the west side of State Road 229 from the Frontage Road past Alpine Drive to land north of FCN Bank and Guys and Gals Quarters.

The Batesville Redevelopment Commission met Jan. 21 (newly-elected President Andy Saner, Secretary Dennis Harmeyer, members Beth Meyers and Darrick Cox; member Mark Fledderman was absent) to explore expanding that district at Fledderman’s suggestion.

The new proposed area will at least triple the existing district’s size. It would include acreage north of S.R. 46 and east of Batesville High School; north of the existing district along S.R. 229 toward Oldenburg, such as the former drive-in, Nobbe estate property and new Margaret Mary Community Hospital physicians center. The larger district also would incorporate the downtown area. A map of the proposed TIF district expansion is available in the mayor’s office.

Attorney Sue Beesley, a partner at Bingham Greenebaum Doll, Indianapolis, who is advising city officials on the process, reminded members that designating a larger TIF area won’t benefit the city unless there’s commercial development. Taxes of new residences and nonprofits are not captured.

She added that taxes of personal equipment could be captured by the city if certain taxpayers are named during the process. Fledderman thought that the industrial Batesville Tool and Die might be designated that way. “We’ll try to put our thinking caps on” to list more.

TIF revenues that would be generated in the larger allocation area would not be property taxes that would be available to taxing units because the current system of property tax controls limits the growth of each taxing unit’s general fund property tax levy, according to a 2003 document written by the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns and the Indianapolis law firm Ice Miller. “The primary effect of additional assessed value would be to lower the property tax rates in those units ... (which) is a very positive step and should occur when TIF areas expire ...”

Beesley pointed out, “You don’t want the whole city to be TIF’d because everybody needs some funds to operate with.”

Declaratory Resolution 2-2013 was adopted by BRC.

The lengthy process to designate a bigger TIF district will continue Feb. 7, when the Batesville Advisory Plan Commission will meet to decide if the initiative conforms with Batesville’s comprehensive plan. The city council will consider the declaratory resolution Feb. 11, then tax impact statements for all taxing units (including the city, Batesville Memorial Public Library and Batesville Community School Corp.) will be prepared.

BRC will hold a public hearing, tentatively scheduled for Feb. 26, before voting on a final, confirmatory resolution.

According to the timeline proposed by Beesley, the council will vote on whether to approve the final resolution March 11. If it is OK’d, the resolution will be recorded by the county recorder and filed with the county auditor and Indiana Department of Local Government Finance.

TIF PROCESS EXPLAINED

• What is the Tax Increment Financing process? An economic development area is defined, then an allocation area equal to or less than and within the original space. The base assessed value for property taxes is frozen. As development comes, the increase from the base to the new assessed value is determined. Those extra taxes that are spun off go to pay for infrastructure development in that area for the number of years designated. After the time period for the TIF district expires (25 years or less from the time debt, such as a bond, is issued), the original taxing units receive the additional taxes.