By Debby Woodin
A meeting of Joplin’s TIF Commission scheduled for today was postponed.
The commission chairman, Doug Doll, delayed the meeting to allow time for the city and the city’s master developer, Wallace Bajjali Development Partners, to put together answers to questions posed by the Joplin School District in regard to the TIF proposal, city officials said.
The school district issued a letter on Friday saying that it would like the commission to take more time to study the question in view of the revenue the district contends it would lose to the proposal in taxes. The district also asked several new questions about the plan.
The TIF district is proposed by the city to encompass the hardest hit section of the tornado zone as well as extending north on Main Street and taking in downtown. It’s purpose is to provide an estimated $60 million in revenue from any tax growth that occurs there to help finance $806 million in redevelopment projects.
Doug Doll, TIF chairman, said at a meeting last week that the city does not intend to short any other taxing entities of revenue.
“I think we all agree this needs to meet all of the needs of all of the taxing districts. It’s either a win for everybody or a win for no one,” Doll said.
City Planner Troy Bolander said a TIF district allows 100 percent of new property taxes in a district and half of new sales tax revenue to go toward projects within the district.
Capturing future tax growth has created a number of questions by the school district to help it determine how it would be affected.
David Wallace, chief executive officer of the Wallace Bajjali firm, told the TIF Commission last week his firm would supply written answers to those questions within two days. “A lot of it requires input from our professionals,” Wallace told the commission. On Friday, the school district released a letter to the TIF Commission outlining more questions and asking that the commission delay any final action so that a more thorough study could be done.
School district officials said that the proposed TIF, which would freeze tax revenues at current levels, could cost the district nearly $22 million over the life of the TIF, which is 23 years.
Planned housing construction in the TIF district could increase enrollment in the district, costing millions, the administrators said.
District officials propose certain resolutions to their concerns. They ask that the city agree to make payments to the district that would grow each year instead.
The TIF Commission meeting has been rescheduled for noon on Wednesday, Nov. 28, at City Hall.