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THEIR SHARE: WCCS questions TIF districts

October 10, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — As Whitley County has the honor of having some of the oldest and most successful Tax Increment Funding (TIF) districts in Indiana, some members of Whitley County Consolidated Schools Board of Trustees are questioning when the schools will get their share in the tax money generated from those developments.

“TIF districts are becoming an issue as far as schools go,” board member Jill Western said. “They’re getting too far away from what they’re designed to do.”

WCCS invited its attorney, John Whiteleather, to Monday’s meeting to counsel the board on the TIF’s impact.

Whiteleather was a long-time prosecutor in Whitley County, and had good things to say about the county’s work in redevelopment.

“I wish I had a tenth of the success they’ve had,” Whiteleather said. “We have a lot of business and a lot of jobs because the Redevelopment Commission (RDC) took the bull by the horns — before most others in this state.

TIF districts lock a certain area in on its current property tax, while RDCs can take out bonds and work to develop, or redevelop, the district, with the idea that the property value will increase.

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