The Porter County Commission-ers on Tuesday appointed a Duneland School
Board member to serve as an advisor on the new redevelopment commission.
Ralph Ayres will fulfill the role which is an ex-officio, non-voting
position on the commission.
Because school districts can be negatively affected by Tax Increment Finance
districts, the Indiana state legislature in 2008 mandated that each county
redevelopment commission have an advisor from a school corporation board in
the territory served. He or she would advise commission members on how they
can share money collected in a TIF district with school corporations.
Funds could be either allocated to the schools or set aside for future
distribution, according to John Shepherd who was the volunteer director for
the county’s former advisory redevelopment commission.
According to state law, the advisor, who is to serve a term of two years, is
not entitled to receive any pay, nor are the voting commission members.
The commission has its five voting members named: Commissioner President
John Evans, commissioner appointments Dave Burrus and Ric Frataccia, County
Council President Dan Whitten and council appointee Jim Polarek.
Redevelopment commissions have the power to propose TIF districts which then
need subsequent approval by the plan commission and the board of
commissioners in order to be established. TIF captures new assessed
valuation for economic development and infrastructure funding at the expense
of existing taxing units.
Shepherd has cited the U.S. 6 corridor area surrounding the new Porter
hospital as one of the potential sites for a TIF district which is within
the boundaries of the Duneland School District.