EHDA anticipates April vote for creation of TIF district

Published 4:21 pm Tuesday, March 27, 2018

An idea for economic development in Elizabethton and Carter County is expected get a boost of momentum in April.

Elizabethton Housing and Development Agency (EHDA) Director Kelly Geagley said the department’s commissioners are waiting for a tax increment financing (TIF) partnership between the city and county to pass through all channels.

According to Geagley, the TIF proposal will go before City Council during their April 12 meeting at City Hall. If passed, the final piece needed for implementation would be passage by the EHDA Board of Commissioners.

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“If everything goes accordingly, we’ll get with Mr. Hartman and try to get a resolution for our April board meeting,” Geagley said.

The first step of installing a district was accomplished earlier this month during the Carter County Commission meeting. Commissioners voted 21-2, with one abstaining, to approve a resolution to work with the city to implement a district.

City Planning Director Jon Hartman, who is also serving as the interim city manager, stated a TIF program would promote economic growth throughout the community. A TIF district would freeze the tax-assessed property value for a period of time at a location, which would then allow developers to use the money they save in taxes during development.

Currently, one plan that is already receiving traction — if a TIF district is implemented — is a new hotel within the city. The plan was originally discussed during the joint regional economic board meeting where Hartman indicated the program would be key to securing the project.

Developers wanting to participate in a district would have to go through an application process, according to Hartman.

Geagley added the EHDA will handle the finances for a district.

“From what I gathered from the policies and procedures … say if a developer wants to come in, the housing agency’s role would be to handle the funds,” he said. “Taking the money in and writing the checks out.”

Individuals can visit to learn more about the implementation of a district and how it can affect both the city and the county.