What in the world is a T.I.F?

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It is an acronym for Taxpayer Increment Financing, and it is a public financing method that is used for development of roads and sewers.

The State of Ohio Revised Code Sections 5709.73 through 5709.75 give Townships the ability to declare improvements to parcels of real property to be a public purpose, thereby exempting those improvements from real property taxation for a period of time.

The property taxes are not abated, but rather redirected to a T.I.F. fund that the Trustees can only use for streets and sewers development.  In Concord Township the original benefactors of the increased real estate taxes due to property improvements would be Riverside Schools and Auburn Career Center, but they would have to agree to forgo the real estate taxes for a designated period of time.

So what does that mean??

For example, if a vacant parcel of land has a building erected on that property then the value of that improved property is increased for real estate tax calculation.  The Trustees can declare that the improvements have a “public purpose”, and can take the real estate taxes that will  occur because of the increased valuation and set them aside in the T.I.F.

There is a rather lengthy process for approvals of a T.I.F.  First the Lake County Auditor’s office must calculate the taxes to be generated because of the improved property, the schools would have to accept the loss of revenue for a period of time, the the State of Ohio would have to approve the set up of the T.I.F.

My opinion:  Although it is a legal means of collecting funding, I do not like the idea that schools will lose funding and then they have to come back to the taxpayers and ask for more money.  The taxpayers are thinking that they voted for a school levy; but in reality,  the money is used for road and sewer development.  I view it as a legal deception.

2 comments

  1. Jim W. – yes there was a T.I.F. used in Concord Township to develop roads and sewers along Crile Road. The T.I.F. was slated for a 10 year time frame. There probably has been others in Lake County, but I am unaware of any details.

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