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Hillsboro approves TIF district plan

Staff writer

After answering questions from USD 410 Superintendent Steve Noble and Marion County Commissioner Randy Dallke, Hillsboro City Council approved a tax increment financing plan Tuesday to pay for improvements in Hillsboro Business Park.

For up to 20 years, property taxes paid by Midway Motors on the increase in value above current levels will be used to pay for infrastructure improvements that made the company’s move feasible.

How TIF works

When a TIF district is established, property values in the district are recorded as the base value. If at any time the values increase, that increase is defined as the increment, City Administrator Larry Paine said.

City, school district, and county property taxes on the increment — but not the base value — are redirected to the TIF district to pay for infrastructure improvements within the district.

Each project within a TIF district has a maximum payoff period of 20 years, Paine said. When the TIF project is paid for, the full value would return to the general tax roll.

Projects within a TIF district are ineligible for industrial revenue bonds and other tax abatements, such as the countywide neighborhood revitalization program.

Marion County and USD 410 had an opportunity to reject the TIF district when it was approved in late 2008, bond counsel Andrew Kovar of Triplett, Woolf & Garretson, LLC, said.

A petition signed by 3 percent of registered Hillsboro voters would force the project plan to a citywide referendum, Kovar said.

Council member Bob Watson said it would be a good idea for Paine to attend a USD 410 Board of Education meeting and a county commission meeting to clarify any remaining issues. Paine said he would be happy to.

In other business:

  • The council approved a $2,500 payment to Arbitrage Group for an audit related to bond funds.
  • Council member Kevin Suderman was appointed to represent the city in discussions with a joint township board regarding fire protection and equipment.
  • The council decided to seek City Attorney Dan Baldwin’s input on how the city could have flexibility regarding accrual of sick leave and vacation by employees while on worker’s compensation. The city’s current policy prohibits workers from accruing leave while on worker’s compensation, but Paine asked for flexibility to allow employees who make a genuine effort to return to work to accrue leave.
  • The city will pursue a 90 percent Kansas Department of Transportation aviation grant to further develop the municipal airport.
  • The next council meeting will be 4 p.m. Dec. 21.

Last modified Dec. 9, 2010

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