The Burns Harbor
Redevelopment Commission would become the first in Porter County to allow
the Duneland School Corporation to share future tax revenue from the town's
planned expansion of its TIF district.
Board president Ralph Ayres, a non-voting Burns Harbor RDC member, hailed
the proposal as breaking new ground. I hope other communities follow suit.
Ayres said RDCs in
Burns Harbor, Porter, Chesterton and a small portion of Portage have more
than $146 million in assessed valuation tied up for their own use resulting
in a combined $500,000 shortfall per year in money that otherwise would have
gone to Duneland's capital projects fund.
Burns Harbor is
proposing to give the schools $135,000 a year for 10 years as outlined in an
amended RDC economic development plan introduced Wednesday. The payment
could take the form of a grant program.
president Greg Miller, It's important to the economic development of our
area that the schools stay healthy.
consultant Dan Botich of Cender & Company said the Merrillville RDC is in
the process of negotiating a similar agreement with Merrillville Schools.
The TIF expansion
would add to the existing TIF district a total 83 acres in the Traditions
apartment complex and in the designated future downtown district on U.S. 20.
When Traditions is
completed, Botich said it alone would add a potential new assessed-valuation
capture of $3.5 million. Burns Harbor's TIF district currently has $33
million in AV now and generates about $850,000 a year in RDC revenue.
In addition to
expanding the TIF district boundaries, Botich said the town's existing
economic development plan for that designated area is being updated and
amended to bring the 2000 plan revised in 2008 into compliance with new
state requirements as of July 1.
That's also the
deadline for Burns Harbor to complete expansion of its TIF area so property
taxes based on new AV from future development there can be reserved for RDC
use beginning in 2015.
The RDC met in
special session last night and voted 4-0 with member Cliff Fleming absent to
approve forwarding to the Advisory Plan Commission for its review a
resolution incorporating adoption of both the updated economic development
plan and the TIF expansion.
The Plan Commission
was scheduled to convene after the RDC Wednesday but notice for that special
meeting wasn't posted so it was canceled and reset for 6 p.m. Monday. The
Town Council will follow with a special meeting Monday at 6:30 p.m. to
receive the resolution. A future RDC public hearing will be set.
prior to the RDC vote member Jeff Freeze asked why Kenwall property in the
southwest corner of Indiana 149 and Old Porter Road south of the railroad,
as well as land on the south side of Tech Drive in Tech Business Center, is
not part of the TIF district. Botich said he did not know.
Freeze also asked
clarified that no adjacent low-density residential property would be
impacted by adding Tradition's land for multi-unit apartments to the TIF.