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Hillsboro City Council reschedules hearing on proposed finance district

Staff writer

A public hearing on a proposed creation of a tax increment financing (TIF) district was moved to 4 p.m. Dec. 23. At its Nov. 18 meeting, Hillsboro City Council voted unanimously to move the hearing. The proposed district is in Hillsboro Business Park, from the former AMPI building to U.S.-56.

The hearing needed moved because the city mistakenly failed to notify occupants of the proposed district when it notified the property owners, City Administrator Larry Paine said.

Another option was to ask those occupants to sign a notification waiver.

Paine was not in favor of that option. It would be a shortcut that could raise a red flag with the Kansas attorney general’s office if the district was challenged in court.

The window for rescheduling the hearing before the new year was Dec. 18-31, because notification is required 30 days before the hearing.

TIF districts are used to finance major infrastructure projects without raising property taxes.

“TIF is an interesting and complicated process,” Paine said.

When a TIF district is created, the property values in the area are set as the baseline value, and a bond for the infrastructure improvements is issued.

As people build on the land in the district, the taxable value of the property increases. The difference between the new value and the baseline is called the increment.

The property taxes on the baseline value is divided between county, city, and school districts as normal, Paine said. The property tax on the increment value all goes to the city to pay the bond for the improvements for a certain amount of time.

It is possible the proposed district could affect the property tax of people outside the district, Paine said. If the TIF district doesn’t meet the city’s bond obligation, the city would have to pay the difference.

In other business:

  • The council approved a pay estimate from Wichita Electric for work on airport improvements. The amount was $107,172.09.
  • The council issued a work stoppage order for work on the airport. A component of the improvements didn’t meet quality control standards, so it will have to be replaced. The order makes it so the time spent waiting for the proper components doesn’t count against the project deadline, Paine said.
  • The council was informed of a complaint about the intersection of C and Adams streets. The complaint said visibility was a problem because parking was too close to the intersection.
  • The council went into executive session to discuss the acquisition of land. No action was taken.
  • The next council meeting is 4 p.m. Dec. 2.

Last modified Nov. 26, 2008

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