The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 2011 Joplin tornado

November 14, 2012

Joplin School Board to identify possible issues with proposed tax district

Joplin school officials are hoping by Friday to have identified specific issues they could face — and the costs associated with them — if the city gives the green light to a proposed tax increment financing district to help pay for tornado recovery.

“It’s very complicated, and we all want very much for this community to rebuild, but there are things that make this one (TIF) very unique, so we’re proceeding very cautiously with this,” Superintendent C.J. Huff said during a Board of Education work session Tuesday.

The purpose of the TIF district, which is being proposed by the city’s master developer, is to take any increases in tax revenues generated by redevelopment construction to invest in building more projects. The school district is the largest taxing entity within the TIF area, which covers more than 6,000 parcels of land across most of the tornado-affected zone and downtown, and it would provide a majority of revenue received by the TIF district from increases in real estate property taxes.

School administrators say they are working with the city ahead of a Nov. 30 public hearing on the proposal to resolve potential concerns. They are putting together a list of specific issues they foresee for the school district should the TIF district be implemented, and they hope to have it completed by the end of the week, Huff said.

“We understand the school business; they understand the city business,” he said. “We have to educate them on the caveats this will create for us.”

The school officials’ aim is to protect the school district from being unintentionally financially harmed in the future as a result of the tax district, which is allowed by state statute to be in place for up to 23 years, said Paul Barr, the district’s chief financial officer.

“By Friday, we’re going to provide the city with some financial information that describes the potential negative impact that the TIF could impose on the school district,” Barr said. “But we’re committed to working with the city on that.”

Chief among the district’s concerns is the possibility of growth in enrollment, particularly from new students who move into housing developments in the TIF area, without the additional revenue from increases in property taxes to help offset operating or construction costs.

Another concern is that the district’s assessed value, currently about $34 million less than it was before the May 2011 tornado, could be frozen by the TIF proposal at that level or at a level lower than the pre-tornado amount. Assessed value determines how much revenue the school district gets from property taxes.

Board members on Tuesday were mostly cautious about the proposal, asking Barr questions about how a TIF district operates.

Mike Landis said he has had “quite a few” phone calls from Joplin residents asking whether the school district would be covered financially during the life of the TIF district.

“Obviously they don’t want to see us come back some day and raise the levy, and come back to the voters and raise their taxes,” he said.

In other business Tuesday, the board approved bid packages for roofing and sheet metal, drywall and ceilings, ceramic tile, floor coverings, food service and theatrical equipment, elevators and security at the new East Middle School.

Board members also approved a $28,140 proposal that allows Patterson Latimer Jones Brannon Denham Inc., an architectural firm in Joplin, to independently review the cost estimate prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for relocating Joplin High School out of a flood plain. The independent review will ensure that the district is eligible for the highest possible amount of reimbursable funds from FEMA for the construction project, according to Mike Johnson, the district’s director of construction.



Board vote

THE JOPLIN BOARD OF EDUCATION will likely give its vote of approval or opposition to the proposed TIF district at its Nov. 27 meeting, board President Randy Steele said. The school district’s two members on the 11-member TIF Commission, C.J. Huff and Paul Barr, will cast their votes on the proposal according to the direction of the school board.

1
Text Only
May 2011 Joplin tornado
  • Local new-home construction catches up to previous pace

    After a slow start early in this fiscal year for Joplin, the construction of new houses has resumed at the pace that existed in fiscal year 2013, when permits for new houses averaged more than 16 per month. Since November, the beginning of Joplin’s fiscal year, permits for 118 houses have been issued for a total cost of $12.8 million. The average value has been about $108,000.

    June 11, 2014

  • 052212 unity walk1_72.jpg SLIDESHOW: One year later, One day of unity, updated Photos from a day of events commemorating the May 22, 2011 tornado anniversary

    May 22, 2012 1 Photo

  • 060314 Farmers rebuild 1_72.jpg Farmers Insurance writes manual based on experience from Joplin disaster recovery

    Joplin’s housing recovery from the 2011 tornado is one for the books. Jeff Dailey, CEO of Farmers Insurance, announced Tuesday that not only will Farmers Insurance stick with Rebuild Joplin to repair and replace the homes left on the local group’s waiting list, but the company also will kick off a similar recovery effort today for the city of Sea Bright, New Jersey, based on a book it has written to expedite disaster recovery that is based on its experience in Joplin.

    June 3, 2014 2 Photos

  • r052214butterflygarden.jpg New park feature opens on tornado anniversary to encourage healing

    Cunningham Park has become an emotional place for Pamela Praytor. The name of her son, Christopher Lucas, is engraved on a monument that stands in the park in memory of the 161 people who were killed in the May 2011 tornado. “Even though I cry when I come, it’s OK,” she said. “It’s part of the healing.”

    May 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • r051214greenbldgs3.jpg Home, business cited as examples of energy efficiency, strength

    Ramona and Charles “Hugh’’ Shields were not the least bit reluctant on Monday to open their new house in the tornado zone to a bunch of strangers who had a lot of questions. “I used to live in a house where I had to wear two pairs of socks in the winter to keep my feet warm — not anymore,’’ said Ramona Shields. “This house is nice and warm in the winter, and nice and cool in the summer.’’

    May 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mercy Health System to receive $23 million FEMA grant

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide Mercy Health System of Joplin with $23 million in public assistance funding by the end of the year. The disaster relief was announced Friday by U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

    April 25, 2014

  • Respond With Love flower.jpg Joplin pays it forward with flowers; residents asked to return bulbs ‘fostered’ for other towns

    Suzan Morang’s front yard bloomed brightly last year from a colorful array of bulbs that she will happily pass on to someone else this year. Morang, 1207 Xenia Court, is a participant in America Responds With Love, a national nonprofit organization that distributes bulbs to disaster-stricken cities.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Creator of Joplin-based ‘Dear World’ exhibit features Boston bombing victims in new work

    The messages written on the skin of some Boston Marathon victims may be different, but Joplin residents will recognize the handwriting. Robert X. Fogarty, the creator of the “Dear World: From Joplin with Love” exhibit, took his signature style of photography and inspiration to Boston. Fogarty traveled to Joplin in 2011 and took pictures of community members with inspirational messages written on their bodies in black ink.

    April 21, 2014

  • r041414wildwood.jpg Opening of nursing home another recovery milestone

    Gladys Dutton has done a lot of things in her life, but Monday’s dedication of the Communities at Wildwood Ranch nursing home marked a first. “I’ve never cut a ribbon before,” she said. “I hope I do a good job.” Dutton was one of four residents to participate in the opening of the $8.5 million nursing center that eventually will be home to 120 people.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joplin Redevelopment Corp. preparing for first property sale

    The first sale of property from the Joplin Redevelopment Corp. to Wallace Bajjali Development Partners is scheduled for May 16. The city staff will be working to prepare for that sale, it was discussed on Tuesday at a meeting of the JRC.

    April 9, 2014

Purchase Globe Photos


Featured Ads
Facebook
Tornado: Multimedia coverage
Tornado: Obituaries
Tornado: Columns
Tornado: Mike Pound
Tornado: Lists of missing, fatalities & relief
Tornado: Donate & volunteer
Tornado: Resources & relief