The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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November 14, 2012

R-8 seeks details of Joplin’s TIF proposal

JOPLIN, Mo. — Members of Joplin’s TIF Commission continue to explore questions presented about the operation of the proposed tax increment financing district and the impact it would have on the school district and other entities that receive tax revenues.

Paul Barr, chief financial officer of the school district, during a meeting of the TIF Commission today, asked a series of questions Wednesday on the TIF proposal and it’s cost and benefit study.

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 is proposed by the city and the city’s master development firm, Wallace Bajjali Development Partners, as a way to help finance $806 million in redevelopment projects. The TIF district would freeze tax revenues at existing levels to all but the city. The city would take in revenue from any new growth in the district and use that portion to borrow money to help pay for projects.

Doug Doll, TIF chairman, said today 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.

The district has asked that a list be supplied of all of the investors in the projects and a designation as to whether they are government or non-taxed investors. If an investor defaults, what will the impact be on the community and the tax-supported entities within the district? A number of other questions also were asked.

David Wallace, chief executive officer of the Wallace Bajjali firm, told the TIF Commission 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.

The school district will have another set of questions ready on Friday to discuss at next week’s commission meeting, Barr said.

 

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