Economic, Ossian officials looking at a TIF district

June 21, 2013

While the effort to turn the Ossian Industrial Park into a TIF district is temporarily stalled, Wells County Economic Development Director Tim Ehlerding is determined to get it done.

“A TIF district is, without question, the best funding mechanism available” for economic development of a specific area, he said.
Ehlerding referred to the successful use of the tool in Whitley County along U.S. 30. “Park 30” has been a very successful development,” he said. “That’s been a TIF district for 25 years and has generated hundreds of jobs.”
Representatives from H.J Umbaugh & Associates are scheduled to meet with Ossian Town Council officials in late June. “They are the experts in the funding side of TIF districts,” Ehlerding said. He hopes to have things in place by the end of this summer to move forward with marketing the industrial park on Ossian’s south side.
TIF — Tax Increment Financing — “captures the growth in property taxes personal property taxes within the district resulting from development and uses that growth in tax revenue to benefit the district,” Ehlerding explained.
“Visualize an 80-acre bean field and the taxes a community receives from this 80 acres is, say $1,” he explains. “Put an industry in the middle and now the community gets additional property taxes and taxes on the equipment over the former bean-field use, say $2. A Tax Increment Finance designation on that 80 acres allows the community to use the growth, or the new $1 of tax, on benefitting the 80 acres only.
“The previous taxes the community received, the original $1 from the 80-acre bean field, continues to go to the community.”
The Bluffton-Decker Industrial Park is a TIF district; those TIF revenues are being used to fund Bluffton’s share of the Adams Street reconstruction.
“This is a great economic development tool that hundreds of communities are using throughout the country,” Ehlerding said.
— Mark Miller

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