The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 30, 2012

School district makes counter offers in TIF discussion

By Emily Younker
eyounker@joplinglobe.com

JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin school officials on Friday released details of a proposal they said they have submitted to the city and its master developer to address concerns about a proposed tax increment financing district to help the city recover from the May 22, 2011 tornado.

Officials are asking for approximately $16 million to help offset with the loss of revenue they anticipate if the TIF district is created. The TIF district would freeze assessed valuations for the 23-year life of the district at a post-tornado level, which is about $39 million lower than before the storm.

David Wallace, CEO of Wallace Bajjali Development Partners, the master developer, previously offered the school district a $12 million payment to address that concern.

The school district is also asking for a payment of $3,925 per new student who moves into the TIF area. That amount, officials said, would cover the annual cost of educating that student as well as provide for capital expenses should increases in enrollment require that a new school be built.

District officials have expressed concern that housing redevelopment in the TIF area could spur growth in enrollment without access to the property taxes that would come from that development.

Wallace Bajjali earlier this week had proposed a payment of $2,500 per student in the TIF area.