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Bloomington Council Backs ‘Super TIF’ Measure

Kirkwood

A measure that would allow the Bloomington Redevelopment Commission to expand and consolidate several separate tax increment financing districts into a single, unified TIF received a favorable reaction in the Bloomington Common Council Wednesday evening.

Bloomington currently has six TIF districts. When an area earns this designation, property taxes generated within that district are recycled back into its own redevelopment, rather than being placed into the city’s general fund, in hopes it will boost economic growth and property values.

The measure would allow the city to merge five of those six districts into one large urban TIF.

Bloomington Planning Director Tom Micuda says the measure would cut down on administrative costs and streamline the city’s goals.

“It creates a unified strategy toward public investment,” he says.

Micuda says that strategy would contain several large-scale projects, including developing the Downtown Certified Technology Park and redevelopment or expansion for the Bloomington Hospital area.

But that same “unified strategy” gave some members pause.

Council member Dave Rollo was concerned creating a Bloomington super-TIF might prevent the city from focusing on an individual area’s targeted needs.

“What we can’t lose sight of are the priorities of the smaller TIFs,” he says. “For instance, on Tapp Road, we have a priority and it’s existed for 13 years of a new fire station, and I want to make sure that fire station happens.”

If enacted, the expansion would mean TIF districts would comprise 16 percent of the city.

“It’s a balancing act,” Micuda says. “You have to make sure larger priorities are addressed, but it is important to do that small sidewalk project, that small streetscape project. We have to do both.”

The council will issue a formal vote next week deciding if the plan is in compliance with the city’s Growth Policies Plan. If passed, it will head back to the Redevelopment Commission for public comment.

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